WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and her colleagues in introducing the Protect and Serve Act, legislation that would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state, or federal law enforcement officers with violence.
“At a time when our country is having a necessary debate about the accountability of law enforcement, officers are increasingly under assault in America. Dangerous rhetoric about defunding the police has turned into targeted violence and chaos in the streets of American cities. I’m proud to join Senator Tillis in support of this bill because the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in our communities need to know we have their backs,” Senator Capito said.
“Law enforcement officers in North Carolina and across the country put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, and the dramatic rise in senseless acts of violence against LEOs causing injury or loss of life is simply unacceptable,” said Senator Tillis. “I am committed to supporting the men and women who swear an oath to protect us, and that is why I am proud to introduce this legislation that would create federal penalties for criminals who target law enforcement officers. Particularly after the recent attacks on North Carolina Sheriff Deputy Ryan Hendrix and officers in Los Angeles, it is time to pass this legislation and send a clear message that acts of violence like this are unacceptable and that there will be no escape from justice for these criminals.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators John Kennedy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.).
In 2020, there have been 37 law enforcement officers killed in the U.S. This is an increase of more than 20 percent since this time last year. Of those, eight were ambushed in premeditated attacks, two were victims of an unprovoked attack, and the other 27 officers killed in the line of duty. The Protect and Serve Act would address this problem by giving federal prosecutors the tools they need to hold those accountable who target law enforcement for assault and attacks.
The Protect and Serve Act would support law enforcement officers by:
This law would apply to federal law enforcement officers and would also apply to state and local officers in circumstances where the federal government can establish jurisdiction over the case.
Read a one-pager of the legislation here and text of the legislation here.
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