Virginia to consider reducing penalty for assaulting police


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers plan to take up dozens of criminal justice reforms during a special legislative session this week, but one proposal in particular is expected to spark an intense battle: a push to change a law that allows police to charge people with felony assault even if the arresting officers aren’t seriously hurt.

A bill by Senate Democrats would downgrade the charge of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer from a felony to a misdemeanor.

The proposal is one of an array of reforms drafted in Virginia since the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police prompted a nationwide protest movement.

Lawmakers will also consider bills to ban the use of police chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

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