MARCUS alert bill progresses out of House committee

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill that could reshape how law enforcement responds when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis reported out of the House Public Safety Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 13-9.

House Bill 5043, introduced by Democratic Del. Jeff Bourne of Richmond, would create teams of mental health service providers, peer recovery specialists and law enforcement to help individuals in a crisis situation.

The proposal is in response to ongoing demands of protesters in Richmond.

It’s named after Marcus-David Peters, a 24-year-old high school biology teacher who was shot and killed by a Richmond police officer in 2018 while unarmed and experiencing a mental health crisis.

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