In wake of Iowa officer deaths, lawmakers consider tougher penalties

Fallen officers, image from WHO-TV

Fallen officers, image from WHO-TV

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers are considering imposing tougher penalties for violent acts against law enforcement officers following the fatal shootings of two officers earlier this month.

Republican State Rep. Ken Rizer tells the Des Moines Register he thinks tougher penalties are needed after the Nov. 2 attacks that killed 24-year-old Urbandale Officer Justin Martin and 38-year-old Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony Beminio.

Iowa already has enhanced penalties for assaulting officers. Rizer wants to expand that concept to attempted murder and murder charges.

Urbandale Police Chief Ross McCarty says Iowa should consider reinstating the death penalty.

But some people don’t think tougher penalties aren’t needed. Rita Bettis with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says that killing an officer already receives the harshest sentence possible for first-degree murder.