Many states across the country advocate for police reform, including Virginia, and state legislators are working to develop a reform plan for law enforcement. This is especially true when considering how criminal law treats non-violent crimes such as drug use.
What is police reform?
Before discussing police reform, it is important to understand what it is. Reform does not mean that the state gets rid of all police forces; the goal of police reform is to encourage officers to treat every individual with respect while performing their job duties. Every person has human rights, and it is important for police officers to ensure that each person’s rights are protected.
Virginia police reform
The Virginia Senate has created a bill that encompasses the many articles of police reform they decided on. These include:
- Chokeholds only when absolutely necessary
- Bans on military weapons such as bayonets although armored vehicles are usable
- Notice to the team before search warrants
- Statewide measures for police conduct and behavior
- Training for de-escalation where every officer receives certification
Support for the bill
The Virginia Senate and the police worked together extensively in order to create a bill that fits everyone’s needs. Advocates for reform, police officers and government officials widely agree on the standards that are in the bill. It will hopefully stop misconduct when enforcing criminal law for nonviolent offenders.
If police accuse you of breaking the law, they have an obligation to protect your rights, but that may not always happen. You may want the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer to assert your rights and provide the defense you need. You deserve to have your voice heard and your safety ensured no matter what, especially if you committed a nonviolent crime.