State Sen. Chris Elliott has introduced legislation that would allow for harsher penalties against those who commit acts of violence against a law enforcement officer in Alabama.
“Every day, our law enforcement officers risk their lives to serve and protect Alabamians,” Elliott said. “It’s vital that we do everything we can to ensure their safety and to punish — to the fullest extent of the law — those who target them. This bill extends that justice even further, and hits even harder, the criminals who attempt to do harm to police officers and sheriffs.”
Elliott introduced Senate Bill 36 Tuesday, and it’s since been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. In short, the bill would add law enforcement officers to a list of protected classes under the Alabama Constitution.
Under current law, crimes committed against a person that are motivated by the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity or physical or mental disability, are subject to heightened criminal penalties for perpetrators.
The bill comes in the wake of the death of Mobile Police Officer Sean Tudor, who was fatally shot in late January. Tudor was one of two MPD officers killed in the line of duty in less than a year.
“We must honor the sacrifice of Officer Tudor and others who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty, and ensure these crimes never happen again,” Elliott said. “That goal starts with punishing, to the greatest possible degree, those who commit violence against law enforcement officers.”
Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack has commended Elliott for pushing the legislation.
“Our community is deeply saddened by the loss of Officer Tudor,” Mack said Tuesday. “Senator Elliott and I have been closely working together on this plan to bring greater justice to criminals who target police officers and sheriffs, and I urge the Alabama Legislature to pass this much-needed bill.”
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