Hate crimes; acts against law-enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. (HB1398)

Introduced By

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton) with support from 6 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Jeff Campbell (R-Marion), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. James Edmunds (R-South Boston), Del. Matt Fariss (R-Rustburg), Del. Buddy Fowler (R-Ashland), Del. Israel O'Quinn (R-Bristol)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Hate crimes; acts against law-enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. Expands the definition of hate crime for the purpose of reporting hate crimes within the Department of State Police to include acts against persons employed as law-enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical services personnel. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


08/09/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100179D
08/09/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/13/2017Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
01/13/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1398)
01/30/2017Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/07/2017Left in Courts of Justice


Brad writes:

I oppose this bill. Hate crimes legislation was created to protect persons and groups with a history of being intimidated, attacked, or discriminated against and so in in need of additional protection over and above the laws that protect all citizens. There is no history of systematic discrimination and intimidation against law officers, firefighters and ems personnel. This law would also has the potential for abuse as it could potentially be used to prosecute individuals engaged in legitimate protest, e.g. against an incidence of police brutality or the misappropriation of funds by a member of the fire department. Finally, there are already laws specially designed to give police officers additional legal protections.

Jarica Davis writes:


I strongly oppose this bill.
School Resource Officers are LEOs, and the number of children being arrested in our schools, including kids as young as 4, is horrendous! Children are leaving elementary schools with felonies, and this bill would have many of them charged with hate crimes.
You may remember the report from Public Integrity about this, a couple of years ago. We lead the nation in arresting kids, and there are racial and special needs disparities that hugely disproportionate to the general student body.
google: Kayleb Moon Robinson (to refresh your memory)

We need to truly support public schools and educators! The VA House (right now!) does not even want to give teachers a raise. Ugh, NORMENT!
We need to have teachers with specialized training, attract and retain highly-qualified teachers. Teachers are PROFESSIONALS, after all, and keeping good ones should be considered good business. Early diagnoses and interventions to help children overcome issues is vital, and saves HUGE amounts of money in the future! 1 in 5 kids have a reading issue like Dyslexia or Dysgrafia, and our prisons have a high percentage of prisoners with Dyslexia.
Jarica Davis
Midlothian, VA