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Virginia House of Delegates advances MARCUS alert bill

Posted at 7:56 AM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 07:56:41-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill Thursday that would create teams of mental health service providers and peer recovery specialists to accompany police officers responding to individual crises.

House Bill 5043, introduced by Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond, was approved by a vote of 57-39.

The legislation needs passage from the state Senate and a signature from Gov. Ralph Northam to become law.

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.