Prosecuting Attorney Bob Rice says people who commit violence of any kind against any law officer in Nodaway County will be treated like suspects in a hate crime. Rice says he was motivated to announce the stricter policy by the recent killings of nine officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge and in Kansas City. But he says he’s seen his share of this sort of thing in Nodaway County..
“Since I’ve been a prosecutor since 2011 here locally I’ve had officers bit,I’ve had officers spat upon, punched, one officer suffered broken ribs, and two officers were intentionally struck by a car leaving a particular crime scene,” Rice said.
“These acts of violence against law enforcement officers are not going to be tolerated. I’m disappointed in the reaction of state and national leaders. There’s not a message out there that strongly fights for our law enforcement officers.”
When he read about what happened in Baton Rouge, Rice says he felt morally compelled to speak out and support our law enforcement officers. He decided to announce that any act of violence against law enforcement officers or agencies will be treated as if it were a hate crime.
“What that means to me is that anything from a drunk that belches on an officer, to those that would lift a fist or worse than that, I will ensure that every effort is made for that guilty person to serve the maximum punishment,” he said.
If the incident qualifies as a hate crime, Rice says he will file charges under that statute. Otherwise, perpetrators of violence against officers in Nodaway County can expect him to file charges of assault of a law officer, and to push for the maximum sentence.
Rice says he will bring to bear the same attitude, the same vigor that he would pursue a hate crime against any suspect charged with attacking law enforcement.
Rice says the police sacrifice to keep our families safe, and he says it’s his duty as prosecutor to make sure those men and women return home safe to their families after their shift.
“The violence against police will stop and it will stop right now.”