Proposed legislation would heighten penalties for crimes against law enforcement officers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) — State senator Chris Elliott (R- Spanish Fort) has introduced legislation that would heighten penalties for people who committ violent crimes against law enforcement officers.

Senate Bill 36 would add law enforcement service to the 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.

“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’s bill comes after Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder was shot and killed in the line of duty in January.

A Birmingham Police Officer was also killed while on the job this year.

Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack supports the proposed legislation.

“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,” said Mack.

Mississippi has a similar law in place.

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