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INDIANA (WEHT) – Senator Mike Braun, among other senators, reintroduced the Thin Blue Line Act, a bill to increase penalties for criminals who target cops.

Senator Mike Braun said, “There is a war on our cops, and it’s time we raise the price of targeting them. The Thin Blue Line Act will make targeting or killing a police officer in a violent crime an aggravating factor in favor of the harshest penalties we have. President Biden said in his State of the Union speech last week that police officers put their lives on the line every day, and that we ask them to do too much. I agree, and as cities continue to encourage crime by going easy on violent criminals, I’m calling on President Biden to announce his support for this legislation to increase the penalties for those who try to kill cops.”

A news release says the Thin Blue Line Act makes the targeting, killing or attempted killing of a police officer an aggravating factor in favor of maximum sentences. However, officials say this currently applies to federal law enforcement. The news release says the Thin Blue Line Act would apply this to local and state police as well.

Officials say the act is as follows:

  • 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 maximum 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 news release says Braun decided to take the lead in re-introducing the Thin Blue Line Act in the 118th Congress after Indiana officer Noah Shahnavaz was killed by a career violent criminal who had previously shot at Indianapolis police and struck a police cruiser multiple times during a chase, but ended up back on the streets after serving 13 years of a 25 year sentence.