Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) approved of two bills Wednesday, one that increases the penalties for blocking roadways granting immunity to motorists who kill or injure protesters on the road, and the second bill would seek to limit doxxing of police officers.
Angry demonstrators barged into the state capitol, forcing the House and Senate chambers to lock their doors. Both bills made their way through the House and Senate’s Republican majority before reaching the governor’s desk.
Protestors screamed at the lawmakers, with one shouting, “you are a f–king disgrace to the whole country!” The group according to the report 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 state Senate passed the Republican-sponsored legislation 38-10 last week and now heads to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk.
The bill makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine for anyone who obstructs a public street during the course of a protest. The legislation also states that drivers cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for killing or injuring a protestor if they are fleeing from a riot.
Sen. Rob Standridge, a Republican wrote the bill because of an incident in Tulsa last summer where a man drove through a crowd on the Inner Dispersal Loop protesting police violence against George Floyd’s death. Several were injured and one man fell off the overpass and was paralyzed from the waist down. The driver, whose family was in the car, was not charged. One man fell off the overpass and was paralyzed, according to the report.
“The kids cowered in the back seat because they feared for their lives,” Standridge said. “That’s what this bill is about.”