A new piece of proposed legislation introduced for consideration by the United States Senate would make it a federal crime to knowingly cause, or attempt to cause, serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer. Offenders are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years. Further, the proposed law would ensure that an offender would receive a life sentence if a death results from the offense, or the offense includes kidnapping, attempted kidnapping or attempted murder.
According to the Chattanoogan, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) co-sponsored the 'The Protect and Serve Act' to support law enforcement officers.
"Tennesseans hold our law enforcement officials in the highest regard, and expect us to provide support for them when needed," Senator Blackburn said. "It's unfortunate that the state of our public discourse has led us to this point."
A group of at least 16 Republican Senators also supported the bill. Those Senators include North Carolina's Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, Louisiana's John Kennedy, Georgia's Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, South Dakota's Mike Rounds, Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn, West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito, Florida's Rick Scott, Arkansas' Tom Cotton and John Boozman, Indiana's Mike Braun, Ohio's Rob Portman, Mississippi's Roger Wicker and Oklahoma's James Inhofe.
The Committee for Police Officers' Defense—the political arm of Police Officers' Defense Coalition—along with charitable organization National Center for Police Defense released a statement announcing their support for 'The Protect and Serve Act.
The organization issued a statement saying, “We believe that any intentional harm done to a police officer or other law enforcement official should be considered a hate crime and offenders should be charged to the full degree possible. Our officers have sworn to keep our communities safe and uphold law and order, and yet they are being ambushed and attacked daily. The mainstream media is increasingly inciting this violence by painting our police with a broad brush, and even encouraging this anti-police rhetoric. We need to make it clear that we do not condone or allow for violence, especially against our law enforcement."
The proposed legislation has also been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association, and Major County Sheriffs of America.