A polarizing bill was passed by Virginia state senators Wednesday that will reclassify charges of assault against a law enforcement officer, now to be downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor.

This controversial move in the Senate eliminates the mandatory jail time associated with the charge.

The bill was passed by a margin of 21-15.

According to Virginia's Legislative Information System, the bill:


"Eliminates the mandatory minimum term of confinement for an assault and battery committed against a judge; magistrate; law-enforcement officer; correctional officer; person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates; firefighter; or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel and provides that such crime can no longer be committed as a simple assault and must result in a bodily injury."

The bill was first introduced by Sen. Scott A. Surovell (D-36), prefiled just two weeks before passing.

The bill was introduced in an attempt to limit police power against the public in light of recent public backlash.

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