The Georgia Senate will be next to consider a bill proposed by a Marietta legislator that would uncomplicate the process to try minors as adults if they’re accused of shooting police officers.
Rep. Bert Reeves sponsored the bill after Marietta police officer Scott Davis was responding to a report of car break-ins early Aug. 11 when he was supposedly shot by an unidentified 15-year-old member of the Bloods gang.
While presenting the bill on the House floor, Reeves, who wasn’t available for comment Tuesday, recounted what happened to Davis during and after the shooting. The officer underwent five surgeries and 21 weeks of recovery before heading back to work.
He pointed to Davis in the gallery while speaking. The officer has attended all of the bill’s proceedings.
Under the bill, prosecutors could indict the accused minors in superior court instead of the case starting in juvenile court.
Right now, there are eight such charges that give district attorneys that option — they range from murder to armed robbery with a gun. Reeves’ bill would add two additional charges to the list: aggravated assault with a firearm and aggravated battery, specifically against police officers.
The bill would still allow for sending a minor back to juvenile court.
Reeves’ legislation has been opposed by the Georgia Justice Project, which advocates for and offers legal help to poor people working their way through the criminal justice system. Juveniles charged as adults often receive harsher sentences and have a higher likelihood of re-offending, the group said.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Reeves, R-Marietta, has said he wants both efforts to become law.
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