House passes harsher penalties for crimes against police officers

1 year 9 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, February 16 2017 Feb 16, 2017 Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:07:00 PM CST February 16, 2017 in News
By: Max Diekneite, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House  overwhelmingly passed a bill that would enforce harsher penalties on those who commit certain crimes against police officers.

“Unfortunately, police officers are being targeted. And I think this goes back to, if police officers weren’t being targeted, we wouldn’t have an issue,” said Rep. Shawn Rhoads, R-West Plains, a 29-year police officer himself. 

The bill passed 130-25 on Thursday afternoon and is now headed to the Senate.

If it becomes law, voluntary manslaughter – which is currently a class-B felony -- would become a class-A felony.

Proponents of the bill said it also enforces stricter penalties for involuntary manslaughter, harassment of an officer, and rioting. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis, said the recent slaying of a St. Louis officer motivated her to bring the bill forward.

“After Blake Snyder’s incident, and his funeral, when you saw how St. Louis County all came out for him, I was more determined to get this bill passed this year.”

Assault against first responders is already categorized as a more serious offense in Missouri, as part of the Special Victims Code. Haefner said her bill covers other areas where she believes officers need protection.

“This adds additional penalties for certain crimes made specifically against law enforcement officers, such as harassment and rioting,” Haefner said.

Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, has been called the most vocal opponent to this bill, a title he embraces. 

“The ideology behind this new wave of legislation, in my opinion, is being pinpointed and targeted at so-called minority groups,” he said.

But Rhoads said he believes anyone who is targeted based on their profession deserves elevated protection.

“First of all, anybody that gets targeted, whether it’s race or sexual orientation or anything like that, it should be an elevated crime,” Rhoads said. “And when you get targeted for wearing a uniform, that should also be an elevated crime." 

Rhoads said he would vote for similar legislation if people in other lines of work were being targeted.

“If military personnel start getting targeted, we’re going to go to something like that. It’s the same with teachers, or doctors, or nurses,” he said.

Haefner said criminals should take note that officers will be protected.

“I just hope that this sends a message that we stand with them, one hundred percent.”

More News

Grid
List
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
26 minutes ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:39 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Students walking around MU's famous Quad may have seen an unexpected visitor Thursday. MU student Massimo Montalbano... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The scooter company Lime announced it has taken its scooters out of Columbia for the immediate future. ... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:49:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:22:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The number of homeless people living in Boone County has increased in the past 10 years, according to... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 12:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Johnson & Johnson's ( JNJ ) stock fell as much as 11% on Friday — on track for... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 11:46:00 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, a day... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 11:39:38 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook announced on Friday that the social network had exposed the private photos of millions of users without... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 10:15:10 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump's former attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen said his former boss knew that having Cohen arranging... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:44:00 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
9am 36°
10am 39°
11am 44°
12pm 47°