Bill To Make Battery on a Cop a "Strike" Defeated in Committee

Yesterday, a California Legislative committee voted down a proposal to make battery on a cop a "strike" offense in California. The bill was supported by Officer Ryan Bonaminio's father, the officer who was murdered several months ago. Ellis Green, the man authorities have charged the murder, had previously been convicted of battery on an officer in the past. Green is facing the death penalty.

Not all felonies are "strikes." Only those felonies listed in Penal Code section 1192.7, subd. (c) qualify as a strike offense. Penal Code section 69, battery on a police officer, is not one of those listed felonies. However, based on the severity of the assault, an offense could still be charged as a felony strike. For instance, if the suspect used a weapon or caused great bodily injury in the assault, then the perpetrator could be charged with mulitple felonies, some of which would be considered "strikes."

Nevertheless, the bill did not have enough votes to pass. The panel's chairman, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, sympathized with Bonaminio, but said he had "very serious concerns" about the measure's implications, particularly its impact on the state's crowded prisons.

An article related to this story can be found here.