On Friday, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., highlighted the Thin Blue Line Act that he introduced last year.
Jolly’s office explained the bill:
The Thin Blue Line Act would make the murder of a police officer, firefighter, or first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations and would be applicable whether the person is murdered on duty, because of the performance of their duty, or because of their status as a public official.
The measure covers every police officer whether federal, state, or local as well as any firefighter or first responder. The only requirement is that the homicide provide federal jurisdiction. This includes the following:
· The interstate homicide of an officer,
· A homicide of an officer who is serving on a joint federal/state/local taskforce (example Organized Crime Task Forces, Drug Enforcement Task Forces, Human Trafficking Task Forces),
· An officer, deputy, firefighter, first responder killed on federal land.
On Friday morning, Jolly took to the House floor to promote the bill;
Mr. Speaker, we’ve heard a lot of talk this week about improving security in our communities, one way we can do that as a country is to stand shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement officers. Just as they have our back each day, let us have theirs.
Tomorrow is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, we can show our appreciation in this House by bringing up and passing legislation I’ve introduced called the Thin Blue Line Act, now with over 50 cosponsors on both sides of the Capitol. It simply gives prosecutors and judges greater flexibility to impose enhanced penalties to those who do harm on law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement officers each year are subject to over 50,000 assaults on them, 15,000 with injuries and 150 unfortunately leading to law enforcement deaths. The Thin Blue Line Act says very simply, if you take the life of a law enforcement officer, be prepared to lose your own.
Mr. Speaker, let’s stand with law enforcement officers today and each day in this House.
Thank you I yield back.
Jolly’s bill is being backed by Republican U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, John McCain of Arizona and Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Curt Clawson, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Jeff Miller and Richard Nugent of Florida.
Jolly was first elected to the U.S. House in 2014 and is currently running for the U.S. Senate.