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Politics Oklahoma gov signs bill that provides protections for drivers who hit protesters blocking roadways

02:30  23 april  2021
02:30  23 april  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Oklahoma Gov . Kevin Stitt (R) on Wednesday signed a bill that protect drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee their demonstration. The debate over driver protections in a protest was partially triggered by an incident in Oklahoma last year in which a driver pulling a trailer drove through a crowd of protesters on a highway in Tulsa. No charges were filed against the driver . Local NBC-affiliate KFOR reported on Wednesday that a group of protesters were kicked out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives after disrupting the proceedings on multiple

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has signed into law legislation that protects drivers from being prosecuted or sued if they injure or kill demonstrators while fleeing what they reasonably perceive to be threat of harm in a riot. Stitt signed the bill , which also stiffens penalties for protesters who block public "We are sending a message today in Oklahoma that rioters who threaten law-abiding citizens will not be tolerated," Stitt said. "I remain unequivocally committed to protecting every Oklahoman's First Amendment right to peacefully protest , as well as their right to feel safe in their community."

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Wednesday signed a bill that protect drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee their demonstration.

Kevin Stitt wearing a suit and tie: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) participates in a White House roundtable with then-President Trump in 2020 © Getty Images Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) participates in a White House roundtable with then-President Trump in 2020

The measure also increases the penalties for activists who obstruct a public street during a protest.

"We are sending a message today in Oklahoma that rioters who threaten law abiding citizens' safety will not be tolerated. I remain unequivocally committed to protecting every Oklahoman's First Amendment right to peacefully protest as well as their right to feel safe in their community," Stitt said, according to local ABC News station KAKE.

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Oklahoma Gov . Kevin Stitt (R) approved of two bills that crack down on protests Wednesday, just as demonstrators angry about the legislation barged into the state capitol, prompting the House and Senate chambers to lock their doors. The group was protesting , in part, one bill that increases the The group then tried to get into the Senate chamber, which had locked its doors. The group was protesting , in part, a bill that increases the penalties for blocking roadways and grants immunity to motorists who kill or injure protesters on the road. Another bill seeks to limit doxxing of police officers.

Oklahoma ’s Republican governor signed off on a bill Wednesday that gives more legal protection to drivers who run over and kill protesters . According to CNN, the state Senate passed the controversial GOP-sponsored legislation last week and Gov . The bill also makes it a misdemeanor to block a public street during a protest —an act that is now punishable by a year in prison or a ,000 fine. A group protesting the new laws broke into the State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. In a statement, Stitt insisted he remains “unequivocally committed” to protecting the right to “peacefully

House Bill 1674 makes obstructing a public road during a protest a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The bill also states that a driver cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for killing or injuring a protester if they have "reasonable belief" that they are in danger and are "fleeing from a riot."

The Oklahoma state Senate passed the bill last week in a 38-10 vote.

The debate over driver protections in a protest was partially triggered by an incident in Oklahoma last year in which a driver pulling a trailer drove through a crowd of protesters on a highway in Tulsa. No charges were filed against the driver.

Local NBC affiliate KFOR reported Wednesday that a group of protesters were kicked out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives after disrupting the proceedings on multiple bills, including H.B. 1674.

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill Wednesday granting immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee and which stiffens penalties for demonstrators who block public roadways , according to the Oklahoma State Legislature. The first days of the protests over Wright's death turned chaotic as some demonstrators threw bottles and launched fireworks and officers deployed tear gas and stun guns. "We are sending a message today in Oklahoma that rioters who threaten law abiding citizens' safety will not be tolerated.

A bill meant to protect drivers who hit protesters during the course of fleeing a riot passed the Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday. “That’s what this bill is about.” According to the bill , it would become a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a ,000 fine for protesters who block a public street. Click here to read more from the washington examiner. Democrats took issue with the bill , specifically with how the legislation’s language defined the word "riot," wondering aloud if “peaceful protesters ” could be targeted.

"You cannot just run somebody over and it be OK because your justification is you felt you were threatened," said Adriana Laws, the president and founder of the Collegiate Freedom and Justice Coalition, according to KFOR. "I feel threatened everyday as a Black woman in society."

Laws said she was led to disrupting the legislation because lawmakers refused to engage in conversations with her and other activists.

"It is our civic duty and our constitutional right to be able to stand up against our oppressor and be able to advocate in our legislature," she said.

States across the country have seen rising protests over racial inequality and injustice, particularly in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last year at the hands of police.

Protest in Yangon ahead of regional summit on Myanmar crisis .
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Protesters against Myanmar’s military coup returned Friday to the streets of downtown Yangon, defiantly chanting their opposition to the army’s seizure of power as the junta chief prepared to attend a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders on the country’s crisis. Such open demonstrations in the center of Myanmar’s largest city all but stopped weeks ago, as the deadly crackdown on dissent by the security forces made it too dangerous. Yangon is where the first major demonstrations were held against the February coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

usr: 1
This is interesting!