New Kansas law creates harsher penalties for crimes against police officers

Posted at 9:38 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 11:28:36-04

Kansas lawmakers passed a new bill that increases the penalties people face who commit crimes against cops. One of its main supporters is a relative of a KCK officer shot and killed in the line of duty.  

“It's one of those things, you hear about other officers getting killed and you say, ‘somebody ought to do something,’ but until it touches you, you don't do it,” Lynn Melton said, the sister-in-law to Captain David Melton who was killed in July of 2016.

The law enhances penalties for non-drug felonies against police officers if the officer is on duty or if the perpetrator knows the victim is a police officer. The measure also lowers sentences for some drug crimes.

Melton was determined to not let Captain Melton or Detective Brad Lancaster die in vain. She started calling lawmakers in Topeka.

“I always think something good should come out of something horrible, I don't know if there is enough good that can come out of this because it’s really horrible, but if it protects anyone or makes justice be served harsher and quicker then so be it,” she said.

Senate Bill 112 was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday.

It includes the Law Enforcement Protection Act, increasing the punishment for those who hurt or kill a police officer.

“The man that killed Det. Lancaster, he walked toward Brad and he could have walked away, he could have ran the other way,” Melton explained. “Same way with David, he was pretty much ambushed from the side and behind and it didn't have to happen."

Melton’s next goal is to get a law on the federal level.