New bill could increase penalties for assaulting police officers

BOSTON — A proposal on Beacon Hill could increase the penalties for criminals who injure police officers.

Thursday, Governor Charlie Baker is expected to file a bill that would eliminate "probation only" sentences for suspects convicted of assault on a police officer in which a serious injury occurs.

Right now, the crime is only considered a misdemeanor. The change would make it a felony, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison. The bill would set a minimum sentence of one year.

The bill was inspired by the death of Auburn Police officer Ronald Tarentino, who was shot and killed at a traffic stop last month. Officer Tarentino's accused killer, Jorge Zambrano, had a prior conviction for attacking a police officer, but only received probation.