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Braun leads bill to increase penalties for people who target cops



Indianapolis, Indiana – Senators including Senator Mike Braun reintroduced the Thin Blue Line Act, a piece of legislation that would toughen the punishment for criminals who target police officers.

Senator Mike Braun said, “There is a war on our cops, and it’s time we raise the price of targeting them. The Thin Blue Line Act will make targeting or killing a police officer in a violent crime an aggravating factor in favor of the harshest penalties we have. President Biden said in his State of the Union speech last week that police officers put their lives on the line every day, and that we ask them to do too much. I agree, and as cities continue to encourage crime by going easy on violent criminals, I’m calling on President Biden to announce his support for this legislation to increase the penalties for those who try to kill cops.”

According to a news release, the Thin Blue Line Act adds an aggravating factor in favor of maximum terms when a police officer is targeted, killed, or tried to be killed. Yet, according to officials, federal law enforcement is currently covered by this. According to the news release, the Thin Blue Line Act would also apply to local and state police.

Officials say the act is as follows:

• When a jury in a federal case considers whether to impose the death penalty, the jury must consider certain “aggravating” factors.
• Current law states that if the murder victim is a federal law enforcement officer or federal prosecutor, this fact shall weigh as an aggravating factor in favor of the maximum penalty.
• The Thin Blue Line Act provides the same level of justice to local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and first responders.
• It also enhances the penalty when a defendant targets a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or first responder solely because that individual has chosen to protect and serve.

According to the press release, Braun made the decision to lead the charge to reintroduce the Thin Blue Line Act in the 118th Congress after Indiana officer Noah Shahnavaz was killed by a violent career criminal who had previously shot at Indianapolis police and hit a police cruiser multiple times during a chase but was let out on the street after serving 13 years of a 25-year sentence.

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