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Toomey Introduces Bill to Impose Harsher Penalties on Cop Killers

May 16, 2019
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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today introduced a measure - the Thin Blue Line Act - to ensure that criminals face the strongest possible repercussions in federal cases when they kill or attempt to kill local law enforcement officers.

"America's law enforcement officers put themselves in harm's way every day to keep our communities safe. They deserve our gratitude," said Senator Toomey. "Given the obvious dangers that our law enforcement officers face - including being attacked simply for wearing the uniform - we have an obligation to send a clear message that if you kill or target a police officer, you should expect to pay a high price. This National Police Week, we remember the sacrifice our fallen officers and their families have made, and show all law enforcement that we support them and are grateful for their service."

Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) joined Senator Toomey in introducing the Thin Blue Line Act.

"Law enforcement officers go to work every day not knowing whether they'll return home safely to their families," said Senator Tillis. "The men and women in blue risk their lives to protect ours, and the Thin Blue Line Act will enact new laws that will make criminals think twice before targeting them."

The Thin Blue Line Act is also cosponsored by Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

Thin Blue Line Act

Anyone who murders or targets a public safety officer should be prepared to pay the ultimate price.

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 death 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.

The Thin Blue Line Act is endorsed by:

  • AFGE Council of Prison Locals, AFL-CIO
  • Corrections USA
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
  • Major County Sheriffs of America
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • National Sheriffs' Association
  • National Troopers Coalition
  • National Volunteer Fire Council
  • Sgts. Benevolent Association of NYC