Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., introduced legislation that would allow the death penalty to be imposed when a police officer is murdered.
Cotton’s Defending Our Defenders Act would make the murder of a state or local law enforcement officer a federal crime that could be punished with either life in prison or the death penalty.
“Law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to defending the rule of law and protecting their fellow citizens. An attack on an officer is an attack on our democracy, and those criminals must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This bill will subject those who murder police to a punishment they deserve, life in prison or the death penalty,” Cotton said in a statement.
“The Defund the Police movement and soft-on-crime policies from the far-left have severely handicapped police officers’ ability to confront skyrocketing crime rates and have put these brave men and women in more danger than ever. We must do more to take care of our heroic law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” said Garcia, who introduced the Sgt. Steve Owen Defending Our Defenders Act in the House.
Garcia added: “That’s why I’m proud to join Senator Tom Cotton in introducing this important bill. I named this legislation in honor of a hero of the Antelope Valley, Sgt. Steve Owen, who was brutally murdered in 2016 while on duty. It is critical that we pass this legislation to ensure our law enforcement officers have the protection necessary to do their jobs effectively. The men and women who protect us every day deserve to know that we have their back.”