Dear Editor,

When State Representative Cosgrove asked the Virginia Senate, “What in the world are we doing here?”, he was referring to Senate Bill 5032 which would let the charge of assaulting a police officer be a misdemeanor instead of a felony, and eliminate the mandatory jail term for being convicted of such a crime.

At the very same time they are being asked to maintain order and public safety amidst chaos, our understaffed law enforcement professionals are being excoriated by the media and defunded by politicians. As if the whole situation isn’t difficult enough, the Virginia legislature has come out and said essentially: “let’s make it a little bit easier for someone to assault a police officer. And while we’re at it, we’ll make it easier for someone to assault a firefighter, healthcare professional, judge, or correctional institution worker, too.” What in the world, indeed!

Enough! We don’t demand the defunding of all teachers when some are arrested for abusing children. We don’t demand the defunding of all of our elected officials when some are arrested for fiscal or ethical bad behavior. We don’t demand the abolition of the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB when some of its players are arrested for spouse abuse or worse. Why, then, do we paint the entire police profession with the broad brush of the bad behavior of a minuscule subset? 

Virginia should support and defend and value its law abiding law enforcement professionals. Senate Bill 5032 does just the opposite.

Kelly Roth

Herndon, VA

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