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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 21, 2015 01:44 PM
From: Representative Barry J. Jozwiak
To: All House members
Subject: Title 18 Amendment
As the United States begins to have a necessary conversation about reforming our criminal justice system, it is important to remember this issue must be discussed with care and openness. Unfortunately, this has not been the case as heated rhetoric has been quickly used to generalize police officers and cast them in a negative light. This rhetoric has often portrayed officers as power hungry, oppressive and racially motivated individuals. Not only is this generalization wrong, but it is demeaning to the many men and women who serve risk their lives for our communities.

Although there is a clear need for reform in our criminal justice system, the reckless rhetoric has made the difficult job of our public safety officials even more difficult. This has been evidenced through increased threat to the lives of our public safety officials; a few weeks ago four officers were killed in the span of just nine days. These officers were clearly targeted because of their job in law enforcement. In the wake of these assassinations, I believe it is time to update our justice code to better protect the lives of those who serve our communities.

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation which will expand the class of weapons in the definition of assaulting a law enforcement officer to include other deadly weapons. Under current law, this definition only includes bodily injury from firearms while failing to serious bodily injury from bats, knives or other weapons which can easily be used to threaten the lives of police officers. Please join me and co-sponsor this legislation which will expand the definition for assaulting a law enforcement officer and provide additional protection to those who put their lives at risk to protect our community.

Introduced as HB1721