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Governor Ducey signs legislation in support of law enforcement

Posted at 3:24 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 21:36:52-04

Arizona Gov.Doug Ducey today signed the legislation adding tougher sentences for assaulting an off-duty law enforcement officer.

The bill Ducey signed is called the "Blue Lives Matter" law. It has drawn criticism from Democratic lawmakers and civil rights groups who say it is an affront to the "Black Lives Matter" movement that protests police killings of black people and racial profiling.

Backers say even off-duty officers deserve higher protections.

Assaulting an on-duty officer or an off-duty officer acting in a law enforcement role already draws a harsher sentence in an aggravated assault case.

Republican Sen. Steve Smith's Senate Bill 1366 adds that tougher sentence if the assault was motivated at least in part because the victim was an officer.

Our police officers put their lives on the line every day to defend our communities and keep our streets safe, said Governor Ducey.Their job is dangerous enough already, and we have zero tolerance for anyone who would target officers simply for doing their jobs. This legislation sends the clear message that Arizona stands firmly by its men and women in uniform, and I am proud to sign it.