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Virginia Police Reform Legislation Hailed a Landmark Achievement

September 11, 2020, 09.04 PM

RICHMOND, - The recent Virginia police reform legislation approved Thursday would prohibit the use of chokeholds and restrict no-knock search warrants.

It would also expand the grounds to decertify law enforcement officials who are found guilty of committing misconduct.

The Virginia police reform encompasses many of the measures US protestors have demanded since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier in May.

Read also: George Floyd Honored in New Project Symbolizing Hope and Change

The legislation passed along party lines with Democrats hailing it as a landmark achievement that preserves public safety while promoting civil liberties and addressing urgent needs.

“We've slowed things down long enough and it's time that we begin to effectuate some fairness here and some justice here,” said Sen. Mamie Locke, the bill's chief sponsor.

Other aspects of the bill would require police to issue warnings before firing weapons and prohibit shooting at moving motor vehicles.

Read also: Yvette Gentry to Lead Police Department Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting

The legislation now heads to the House of Delegates, where the Democratic majority has passed a package of similar bills recently.

The two chambers largely see eye-to-eye on police reform issues but do have differences.

On Thursday, moderate Senate Democrats joined with Republicans to defeat a House bill aimed at making it easier to sue police officers for misconduct.

The special legislative session, which began last month, was called by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and to consider proposed police and criminal justice reforms in the aftermath of Floyd’s killing.

Some Republican senators cast the bill passed Thursday as a disaster for police officers that would empower criminals and cost innocent lives.

GOP lawmakers said Democrats were unfairly questioning the tactics police use when they have to make split-second decisions in high-stress environments.

Read also: US Police Hits Recruitment Snag While Young Cops Opt for Humane Policing


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