July 29, 2020
Mister Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,
I am Senator Dick Black, recently retired after service in the House and Senate that spanned 20 years. I represented Loudoun County and Prince William Counties.
During the latter half of my military career, I was in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Eventually, I was the Chief of the Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, supervising military justice worldwide.
I have ridden on patrols with police, and I know the tension and danger they encounter daily. You should be glad that it is they–and not you–who must face the daily threat of death from violent elements.
I am addressing this committee this morning to express my deep concern about the direction the General Assembly has taken on law & order under Democrat leadership.
Specifically, I am deeply concerned that legislation under consideration is designed to weaken law enforcement, leaving the public defenseless at a time of spreading arson, looting, assaults, and murder.
- ENCOURAGING ATTACKS ON POLICE: A bill was introduced to reduce the crime of assaulting a law enforcement officer from a felony to a misdemeanor. The only purpose for such legislation is to increase the vulnerability of police officers and to encouraged rioters to assault and perhaps kill them.
- DEFUNDING POLICE: Also, cutting funds for our police, sheriff’s, and state troopers sends a clear message that, under Democrat leadership, the Virginia General Assembly hates cops.
- ENDING LAW ENFORCEMENT IN SCHOOLS: Parents were shocked that Democrats intend to remove School Resource Officers from public schools. Those officers protect students from violent bullies and from armed intruders. Removing them will make students vulnerable to shooters, expose them to sexual assaults, and promote attacks on teachers in inner city schools. This move is abhorrent. What vile motives inspire such reasoning?
- PERMITTING INTOXICATED DRIVERS TO DRIVE: If a bill to prohibit vehicle searches based on probable cause from drug-sniffing dogs passes, it will guarantee that drug-intoxicated drivers will cause fatalities on our highways. Drug dogs have been proven reliable and effective over decades of use. Unfortunately, as marijuana use becomes widespread, dogs are the only realistic tool for removing drug-intoxicated drivers from the road.
- RELEASING HARDENED CRIMINALS: Democrats want to reinstitute parole for career criminals. This will unquestionably return violent criminals to the streets. The abolition of parole was, perhaps, the greatest single public safety reform ever enacted in Virginia. It has cut crime and made our streets safe. Reversing that reform is guaranteed to promote violent crime.
The thrust of legislation being considered is to deliberately weaken law enforcement, leaving the public defenseless against violent rioters, Marxists and anarchists.
I urge you to consider the interests of law-abiding families and citizens as you consider these revolutionary steps to empower criminal elements in Virginia. You must not simply cater to mobs, who will burn, loot, assault, murder, and violently bully children in our classrooms.
You were not elected to represent the world of crime; your duty is to protect the good and decent families of the Commonwealth.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.