(AP) – Missouri’s new governor, Eric Greitens, is pushing
to give the state the country’s toughest penalties for attacking a police
officer, reflecting similar efforts elsewhere.
The former Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL’s pledge has played well with
Missouri’s law enforcement community, which has been on the defensive since the
2014 fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in
the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Missouri already has harsher penalties for attacks against police officers,
and some say the new Republican governor’s push for even tougher ones is
unnecessary. Among them is a Republican state Sen. Bob Dixon, a legal expert who
helped craft revisions to the state’s criminal code that just took effect.
Dixon says people who attack officers aren’t likely to look up the possible
penalties before the attack. He says such attacks are a “one-time deal”.
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