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Virginia Senate Committee passes Marcus Alert bill

Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 19:31:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would create teams of mental health service providers and peer recovery specialists to accompany police officers responding to individual crises, also known as a Marcus alert.

The bill is named for Marcus-David Peters, a 24-year-old high school biology teacher, and Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus, was shot and killed by a Richmond Police officer as he charged the officer after a taser was deployed.

Peters was unarmed and his family said he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

House Bill 5043, introduced by Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond, was approved by the committee by a vote of 8-3.

The bill will now go to the Finance and Appropriations Committee.