Aug 26, 2020 4:22PM (GMT 20:22)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate has approved legislation that would eliminate a six-month mandatory minimum sentence for assaulting a police officer. The bill was approved despite strenuous objections from Republicans who said it disrespects police at a time when they have come under attack during nationwide protests. Democrats said the legislation does not minimize the crime of assaulting a police officer, but instead makes a distinction between serious assaults and minor assaults. The bill keeps the charge as a felony, but gives a judge or jury discretion to reduce it to a misdemeanor if there is no bodily injury or if someone’s culpability is slight because of diminished capacity or a developmental disorder.