Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) this week re-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. Senator Toomey previously introduced this legislation in May 2019.
“When a police officer loses his or her life in the line of duty, that officer deserves justice,” said Senator Toomey. “My legislation sends a clear message -- if you kill or target a police officer, you should expect to pay a high price. Especially during 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.”
The Thin Blue Line Act is also cosponsored by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
BACKGROUND: The 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
  • Voices of J.O.E.