Tennessee Republicans Announce ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Bills For Police Safety


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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A group of six Republicans in the Tennessee legislature announced their “Blue Lives Matter” plans to offer greater legal protections to police officers during a press conference Monday.

The Republicans introduced three bills during the conference, which would make changes including labeling assault or harm of an officer a more serious crime, reports The Tennessean. The movement, called “Blue Lives Matter,” seeks to protect law enforcement officers. The legislative session will consider the bills in January 2107.

Sen. Todd Gardenhire and House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick sponsored a bill that would make it a Class E felony to assault an officer, instead of a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence up to 11 months and 29 days and or a fine up to $2,500. An assault of an officer would instead carry a fine up to $5,000, while an aggravated assault would have a fine up to $15,000.

Sponsors Sen. Mark Green and Rep. Mark White created a bill that would make it a hate crime to kill or try to kill a person who is a law enforcement officer or a person believed to be one. The “hate crime” would be a Class A felony.

Sen. Mike Bell, and Rep. Andy Holt  introduced their bill that would make it a crime to publish the home address of a law enforcement officer.

“Our men and women in blue are laying their lives on the line every day for us. It’s time we as a state recognize that fact by adding greater protections in the law for those who sacrifice their safety to protect us.” Senator Mike Bell said in a statement.

A similar legislation that would enact harsher sentences on crimes against law enforcement officers failed 3 years ago, reports the Tennessean.

Field Training Officer Kyle Moses of the Chattanooga Police Department praised the bill, telling News Channel 9 that the bill “was a long time coming.”

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Amber Randall