Bill to raise North Carolina riot penalties clears Senate committee

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:45 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina Senate committee has voted to advance a measure that would impose tougher penalties on those who engage in violent protests.

House Speaker Tim Moore said his plan will better protect businesses and law enforcement from violence and property damage similar to what he saw take place in Raleigh last year after the death of George Floyd.

The bill would put a 48 hour hold on rioters and looters and could result in some hefty fines.

Some Democrats worry the bill will have a chilling effect by making people less willing to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

Dedan Waicuri, an activist in Greenville says this bill is a suppression tactic.

Speaker Moore says the bill is not to stop people from exercising their rights.

Moore’s bill was approved by the House earlier this year.

The bill next heads to another Senate committee where Moore anticipates it to pass, then it’ll come back to the house to concur with some changes the senate has made.

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