Oklahoma has this week passed a law that will not only make it illegal to film the police, but will also protect drivers who run down protestors.
Here's the full story...
Last year, there were at least 104 incidents of people deliberately driving their vehicles into protestors.
From May 27th through to September 5th, ninety-six were committed by civilians, and 8 were done by the police, according to a terrorism researcher at the University of Chicago's Project on Security and Threats.
In that time period, there were at least 2 fatalities from the hit-and-runs, in Seattle and in Bakersfield, California.
Though today, that number is expected to be much higher.
So, of course, when Flordia's Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will provide immunity to these drivers last week, people were horrified.
The new "anti-riot" bill has a primary aim of cracking down on "violent protests across the State."
"I think it's really remarkable if you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation," DeSantis said during a press conference on April 19th.
"It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country."
In a statement to NBC News last week, DeSantis added that the legislation "strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian's constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished."
Floridan's far and wide were outraged by the news...
But now, another state is having to deal with an alarmingly similar bill.
Of course, people are not at all happy about the news...
The people of Oklahoma are now on my prayer list 🙏😔— email@example.com (@dancingyakhotm1) April 22, 2021
First Amendment violation right there.— JoNewton (@Joana_N1a) April 20, 2021
Lost for words doesn't cut it. These GQP states are losing their minds - to the detriment of we, the people.— Diane Marie Ford 💞 (@ListenToThyself) April 20, 2021
All bills totally illegal.Since they know better, I guess criminal charges are required for those who propose this.— Schmoo📎 (@Smilan317) April 22, 2021
They are nibbling away at constitutional rights— TrumpWho? (@LLPoliticsNews) April 20, 2021
How is this at all constitutional? Can this be challenged before there's actually an incident?— Badger Up! (@JTirades) April 20, 2021
How can a state decide to circumvent the Constitution? Peaceful protest is a protected right under the Constitution.— FirstAlto (@FirstAlto1) April 20, 2021
Totally illegal. That will be crushed in no time. Fool.— Abigail@TrueBlueResists (@TrueBlueResists) April 22, 2021
Unbelievable. This is putin and trumps, republicans- America— Lee Smith🆘️ (@lf092313) April 22, 2021
Finally a literal violation of the first amendment— bennettgreenfield (@bennettgreenfi1) April 19, 2021
Oklahoma has become the latest state to pass a law that will provide protection for drivers who run over protestors.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed the bill on Wednesday, granting immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee and stiffening penalties for demonstrators who block public roadways, according to the Oklahoma State Legislature.
The state Senate passed the Republican-sponsored legislation 38-10.
The bill also 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, according to the legislation.
And as for the immunity regarding drivers who run over protestors...
The bill, titled "House Bill 1674" states that drivers cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for killing or injuring a protestor if they are "fleeing from a riot," and there is "reasonable belief" that they are in danger.
Speaking of the controversial bill, Stitt said:
"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."
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.