Arkansas House Enhances Penalties For Targeting Law Enforcement, First Responders

Jan 30, 2017

State Rep. Dwight Tosh (R-Jonesboro).

The Arkansas House overwhelmingly passed a measure to enhance penalties for those who target law enforcement or first responders in a crime. State Representative Dwight Tosh, a retired state police officer from Jonesboro, indirectly referenced Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, and targeted shootings throughout the nation last year.

“Law enforcement officers today, if you look at them, their heads look like they’re always on a swivel. They’re always looking over their shoulder and worrying about where the next attack could be coming from,” said Tosh on the House floor on  Monday.

The second-term Republican continued, “What we’re doing today with this enhancement penalty is probably not enough. But at least it allow us at a time when things are changing in this nation, it allows us to update our laws. And it helps us be able to send a message.”

Enhanced penalties range from up to an additional year in prison for a misdemeanor, to an additional 10 years for certain felonies. No one spoke against the bill. It passed 94-2 and heads to the state Senate.