Oklahoma Gov Signs Bill to Protect Drivers Who Hit Rioters with Their Vehicle
Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signs legislation into law as mob breaches state Capitol
The Republican governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, has signed two bills into law that seek to crack down on violent rioting in the state.
Stitt approved the bills on Wednesday, just as an angry mob of rioters barged into the state Capitol in protest of the legislation.
The breach forced the House and Senate chambers to lock their doors.
The group was protesting, in part, one bill that grants immunity to motorists who kill or injure protesters on the road and increases the penalties for rioters caught blocking roadways.
The other bill seeks to limit the doxxing of police officers and other law enforcement officials.
Both bills were passed by the House and Senate's Republican majority before reaching Stitt's desk.
Some protesters got into verbal altercations with lawmakers, according to Fox News.
"You are a f--king disgrace to the whole country!" one shouted towards the legislators.
The group then tried to get into the Senate chamber, which had locked its doors.
This was inside a few moments ago pic.twitter.com/m3EENI1bxW— Dillon Richards (@KOCODillon) April 21, 2021
The group has now left. The house goes back to a vote. pic.twitter.com/NA4HWZn1z3— Connor Hansen (@Connor_R_Hansen) April 21, 2021
The bill passed in a 38-10 vote in the Senate.
The bill makes blocking the use of a public street a misdemeanor publishable by up to a year in prison or a $5,000 fine.
The measure would also grant a motorist criminal and civil immunity if they kill or injure someone while fleeing from a riot.
Sen. Rob Standridge, a Republican who wrote the bill, said he was called to action by an incident in Tulsa last summer where a pickup truck drove through a crowd protesting George Floyd’s death on the Tulsa interstate.
Some of those protesting were forced to the edge of the overpass.
Several were injured and one was paralyzed from the waist down.
The driver, whose family was in the car, was not charged.
"The kids cowered in the back seat because they feared for their lives," Standridge said.
"That’s what this bill is about."