Virginia Autism Project Supporting Bill for Reduced Penalty for Assaulting Police

(Richmond, VA) You will be charged with a 6-month mandatory minimum sentence in addition to a felony if you assault a police officer. Advocates for people with psychiatrics disabilities argue that assault can be easily misinterpreted. For example, James is a 27-year old with with autism. Due to his autism, he spits subconsciously which can be considered assault under the wrong circumstances. Sen. Scott Surovell made a bill that would limit the felony charge to a misdemeanor for assault of a police officer. The original bill died under a Democrat-led House Courts of Justice Committee. A revised bill is being worked on that according to Surovell “would protect people with autism from excessive punishment, as well as those who resist police during a mental health crisis.” More of this story here.