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Bill to end mandatory jail time for assaults on police fails

Posted at 8:57 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 08:57:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia lawmakers have killed legislation that called for eliminating mandatory jail time for assaulting a police officer. The bill had drawn heated opposition from Republicans who said it would send the wrong message at a time when law enforcement has come under attack during nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

The bill proposed by Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell passed the Senate last month. But it was rejected Tuesday after several Democrats on the House Courts of Justice Committee raised concerns about how certain terms were defined in the bill and whether juveniles should be exempted.

Surovell says he is likely to reintroduce the bill next year.