JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — A state legislator wants to toughen the penalty for injuring or killing a police dog, following the shooting death of a K9 in north Florida.
Right now, someone convicted of killing a police dog can serve up to five years in prison. But Senate Bill 96, filed Tuesday by Senator Aaron Bean of Fernandina Beach, would triple the maximum prison sentence to 15 years by upgrading the crime from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony.
Bean described the bill as the “Fang Memorial Bill” in honor of a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K9 shot and killed in the line of duty back in September while chasing armed carjacking suspect Jhamel Paskel.
Paskel, 17, will be charged as an adult for the shooting.
“I think everybody was shocked to find out it’s only a third-degree felony to murder a police dog or a police horse, and so we’re going to change that,” Bean told WJXT, saying he met with JSO deputies following Fang’s death. “A second-degree felony is where we want it to be to give our prosecutors ample resources to hold people accountable.”
If passed, the bill would take effect in October of 2019.
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