Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) is supporting legislation to enhance federal penalties for criminals who target, attack, harm, or kill law enforcement officers at the federal, state, or local level. Last year, Davis introduced legislation
to hire more police officers and give them a pay raise.
“Democrats want to defund our local police forces filled with brave officers that put their lives on the line every single day to keep our communities safe. Our police deserve to have the full force of the law protecting their profession,” said Rep. Davis. “That’s why I’m working to promote respect for law enforcement by sending a strong message to criminals out there – if you target, harm, or kill a law enforcement officer, be prepared to spend a long time in prison or even face the death penalty. I’m proud to ‘Back the Blue’ in Congress. While some Democrats want to defund the police, our police deserve elected officials that have their back and laws that are on their side.”
- Expands the list of statutory aggravating factors in federal death penalty determinations to also include killing or targeting a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder.
- Ensures that criminals face the strongest possible repercussions in federal cases when they kill or attempt to kill local law enforcement officers.
- Many states authorize the death penalty in situations where a state or local law enforcement officer is killed, this bill would bring sentencing parity to the federal level.
- Note: Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011 for state cases, but the federal death penalty could still apply within the state for federal cases
The Thin Blue Line Act has been endorsed by AFGE Council of Prison Locals AFL-CIO, Corrections USA, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Fraternal Order of Police, International Union of Police Associations AFL-CIO, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Association of Police Organizations, National District Attorneys Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Troopers Coalition, and National Volunteer Fire Council.
- Creates enhanced federal penalties for anyone who targets law enforcement officers and purposefully harms them in the execution of a crime with a federal nexus. This applies to attacks on federal officers, or attacks on state or local officers if the attacker or officer crosses state lines, uses a channel of interstate commerce, uses a firearm or weapon that traveled in interstate commerce, or if the act effects interstate or foreign commerce.
- Creates a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment for someone who attacks and injures an officer and a penalty of life in prison for someone who kills or kidnaps an officer.
- Passed the House with broad bipartisan support in 2018 by a vote of 382-35.
The Protect and Serve Act has been endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Sheriffs Association, and Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
- Authorizes $15 billion through the Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement departments to boost their department personnel while retaining existing funding for the Mental Health and Wellness Act services.
- Provides funding for additional officer hires and officer retention for departments that need more manpower on their police forces.
- Gives pay raises to officers by allowing recipients to use federal funds to raise the salaries of officers up to 110 percent of the local median earnings.
- Excludes cities that intentionally defund their police forces by not allowing any department to receive money for pay raises that recently cut officer salaries for reasons not related to the pandemic.