Under Georgia Bill, Minors Could Be Tried As Adults for Assaulting Cops

The legislation is part of the larger Blue Lives Matter movement.


fourbyfourblazer / flickr

Lawmakers in states across the country are pushing for "Blue Lives Matter" legislation. In that spirit, Georgia could soon make it much easier for juveniles who get into altercations with police to be tried and punished as adults.

The state has recently seen several House and Senate bills introduced that would extend protections for law enforcement. The Back the Badge Act of 2017 rolls several such proposals into a single package; one of those is House Bill 116, which would allow district attorneys to try minors as adults if they're accused of aggravated assault with a firearm or aggravated battery against a public safety officer, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Georgia law currently says eight different charges can justify moving a juvenile up. The house bill, which was introduced by state Rep. Bert Reeves (R–Marietta), would increase that number.

The bill was inspired by the shooting of Georgia police officer Scott Davis by a 15-year-old gang member, according to the AJC. The case started in juvenile court, and the judge denied the prosecutor's motion to try the teenage suspect as an adult. "Nobody understands how she came to this conclusion," Reeves told the newspaper.

A spokesperson for the county district attorney's office said the judge felt that the minor was "amenable to juvenile treatment." Reeves apparently disagrees. "If you pull a gun on a cop or shoot at a cop, you've sailed beyond juvenile treatment," he said, per the AJC report.

H.B. 116 passed the state House on Monday 130–36. It will move to the Senate despite objections from various criminal justice advocacy groups, including the Georgia Justice Project. The nonprofit organization argues that trying minors as adults is counterproductive, as it increases their chances of re-offending, according to a U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections report.

"The weight of the research reviewing the public safety impact of sending youth to the adult corrections system has found that youth tried as adults are more likely to re-offend, even when controlling for offense background and other characteristics, than comparable youth retained in the juvenile system," the report reads. "Youth who are transferred from the juvenile court system to the adult criminal system are approximately 34 percent more likely than youth retained in the juvenile court system to be re-arrested for a violent or other crimes."

The report says upward of 250,000 juveniles end up in adult criminal court every year. Every single state has some version of a transfer law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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  1. Just put body cameras on the cops and prosecute them when they do wrong. people can still have respect for the law that way.
    They also could put away the military fatigues. It would help stop them from getting shot and maybe not scare the shit out of all of us at the same time.

  2. If anyone needs to be reminded of an equivalent awfulness of blue state proggery that’s going on in red states, this is it. The cop-suckling is scary as hell and needs to stop.

    1. Eric’s new rule:

      Enough with calling EVERYTHING authoritarian “progressive”. I get that many libertarians and conservatives use a definition of left/right that states Left = Authoritarian and Right = libertarian. But when you are the only one’s doing it you confuse the shit out of everyone else. And, it’s what allows shitbag right-wing statist assholes to think that they are libertarians, then post positive shit about Trump on libertarian comment sections…Further confusing any poor soul who stumbles on a reason article and happens to peruse the comments.

      Thank you.

      1. Maybe that’s the ticket. Perhaps people get confused between liberal and libertarian and are shocked by the concept of government as anything but protector and provider. Maybe a little rebranding is in order to something that folk will recognize as non-authoritarian. Yeah, I know, but sometimes you need to spell it out for them, very slowly, because it’s clear there are lots who are a bit non-responsive at first to things like the neural synapses commonly associated with thinking.

  3. The case started in juvenile court, and the judge denied the prosecutor’s motion to try the teenage suspect as an adult. “Nobody understands how she came to this conclusion,” Reeves told the newspaper.

    So this is an attempt at understanding the decision? Legislators love one size fits all, especially when it buys them the cop endorsement.

      1. The cop union endorsement is the best one because it works on both parties.

  4. Are we talking about the kind of assault where the police’s fists are attacked by someone’s face?

    1. I think this was one of those attacks where the perp’s balls attacked the officer’s taser.

    2. Are you suggesting a cop’s fists don’t have a right to get home to their wive’s faces, safe and healthy at night?

  5. Meh. Start trying cops as adults, then we’ll talk.

    1. I’d settle for cops getting tried at all.

  6. “For the past six months, an active-duty Army major studying at the University of Miami has been taking pictures of city police cars he says were illegally parked.

    The Miami New Times reported Wednesday that Glen Carr, who moved to Miami in August to study at the school, has sent at least 125 complaints?along with photographs to support his claim?to police departments in or around Miami-Dade County.”


  7. What could possibly go wrong?

  8. Somebody dumb enough to assault a cop is lucky to survive to be prosecuted as an adult or anything else.

    Jesus, talk about Darwin Award behavior.

    1. You’d be surprised. A lot of dumb little shits will take a swing at a cop and, perhaps remarkably, are not summarily executed.

    2. The term assault is very relative when involving the police. Yes, attacking a cop with no reason does equal stupid. What about grabbing a cop’s arm while he’s beating the shit out of your kid/spouse/parent/etc? I’ve seen a woman arrested first hand for doing just that…and she was charged with, among other things, assault on a police officer.

  9. I’m 65 plus?never been arrested?.ain’t had a traffic ticket since maybe 1976?whiter than Hell?.live comfortably?.life is great.

    But?.I wince and cringe anymore if I merely see a cop. I don’t want them around me or my family. State, county, federal?it makes no difference. I don’t want them living in my neighborhood. I see those insidious blue lights anywhere and I’m snarling under my breath.

    My wife gently asks me why I get so upset.

    I sort of shrug, and tell her?”I don’t know, hon. I just don’t know.”

  10. you see, minors are children because they are not mentally able to grasp the real consequences of their actions, so they can’t smoke, or drink alcohol, they can’t consent to sex even years after they are biologically capable of procreating, they can’t vote, or drive a car.. however if say, in a moment of uncontrolled youthful exuberance, or hormone fueled rage, were to say lash out at a police officer, well their cognitive functions, life experience, and overall grasp of the repercussions magically snap to the level of crystal clear adulthood and maturity.
    Secondly, does it make anyone else feel like a second class citizen, that those who are supposed to serve, are more protected then those who they are supposed to serve? You kill John Doe over there, yeah, yeah, break it up. his rights shouldn’t really be violated, but it’s no big deal either way.. but wait, John Doe is a Sargent on the force, well then, violating his rights just got a lot more serious.

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