Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, has introduced a bill that would increase federal penalties against people who either kill, assault or plan violence against a law enforcement officer.
Poe's Back the Blue Act is a response to the recent shootings against police. Five police officers in Dallas were shot and killed in July, and on Sunday, three more officers in Baton Rouge, La., were killed.
Those shootings appear to be in response to police shootings against black men, but Poe said cops need protection from this kind of violence.
"As a prosecutor for over 30 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside some of America's best, the men and women behind the badge," said Poe. "Each day these heroes go into the field, their families not knowing if they are going to return home. These officers separate the good from evil, a thin line that protects a civil society from anarchy."
"In Dallas and Baton Rouge, our officers have been attacked, harmed and killed for just doing their job," he added. "Assault in any way is wrong. This legislation promotes security for those that protect the rest of us."
Poe's bill would make it a federal crime to kill or attempt to kill a federal police officer, judge or public safety officer, and make offenders subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if the victim dies. If the victim doesn't die, the offender could still face up to 10 years.
It would create a new federal crime for assaulting federally funded law enforcement officers, and penalties would increase depending on how badly the victim was injured and what weapon was used. Fleeing authorities would be another federal crime under the bill.
These attempted crimes would be seen as a factor in decisions on whether to seek the death penalty.
The bill would also expand the ability of officers to carry firearms into federal facilities in places they currently can't carry.