Bill would toughen penalties for disarming Michigan police officers

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LANSING (WJRT) (3/12/2019) - Prison sentences for disarming a police officer or attempting to grab their weapon would double under a bill introduced in the Michigan Legislature.

State Rep. Mike Mueller of Linden introduced bills on Tuesday increasing the penalty for disarming a law enforcement officer from 10 to 20 years in prison and attempting to disarm an officer from five to 10 years in prison.

The bills were referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. They would have to pass the committee, full House and full Senate before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could sign them into law.

He said the legislation was inspired by the death of Oak Park Police Officer Mason Samborski of a Howell. He died on Dec. 28, 2008, when a suspect who took his firearm during a struggle and executed him.

Mueller, a Republican, worked as a sheriff deputy for 19 years before being elected in November. He said suspects tried to take his service weapon twice.

“This is a common sense plan that we can all support, regardless of which side of the aisle we sit on,” Mueller said.

State Rep. David LaGrand, a Democrat and former prosecutor from Grand Rapids, supports the legislation.

“Police officers must know that legislators have their backs,” he said.