Virginia House passes law that would ban arrest quotas

Legislation passed unanimously in the Virginia House of Delegates last week would ban police from establishing formal or informal arrest quotas.

Republican Del. Robert Bell is the sponsor of House Bill 750, which passed 100-0 in the House on Thursday, meaning no Republicans nor Democrats opposed it.

So what, exactly, would the legislation do?

According to a bill summary on LegiScan, the law prohibits law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth of Virginia “from establishing a formal or informal quota that requires a law-enforcement officer to make a specific number of arrests or issue a specific number of summonses within a designated period of time.”

As The Center Square reported, current state law does not specifically require police to establish quotas, but it does not stop them from doing so either.

American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia policy director Ashna Khanna claimed arrest quotas are “generally revenue-generating measures that contribute to unjust policing and exacerbates racial disparities.”

Khanna said the legislation is good policy.

“If passed, this policy could be a positive step toward reducing abuse of authority,” Khanna told The Center Square.

However, Khanna went further than the bill in question does, claiming police should be banned from enforcing an array of laws.

“Furthermore, we believe that we should prohibit police from enforcing a range of non-serious offenses, including issuing fines and making arrests for non-dangerous behaviors, thus eliminating unnecessary interactions between the police and community members that have led to so much violence and so many deaths,” Khanna said.

House Bill 750 has also received support from the National Motorists Association.

“Law enforcement officers should never be pressured to issue tickets in order to meet a performance-based quota,” the group said.

“To do so results in unnecessary, and often unjustified, ticketing which is unfair to motorists and breeds distrust between the community and police.”

The legislation will now be considered by the Virginia Senate.