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North Carolina bill raising riot penalties heads to Gov. Cooper

Police in riot gear protect the old state capitol building in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, May 31,...
Police in riot gear protect the old state capitol building in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020. It was the second day of protests in the North Carolina capital following the death of Minnesotan George Floyd while in police custody. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)(Allen G. Breed | AP)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 8:16 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina House gave final legislative approval for a bill that would impose harsher penalties on those who engage in violent protests.

The measure passed Tuesday and now heads to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper has expressed concerns about the proposal pushed by Republicans.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, NC NAACP and other civil rights groups oppose House Speaker Tim Moore’s bill and worry it could have a chilling effect on free speech.

Rioting and looting that took place in Raleigh last year amid frustration over the murder of George Floyd is what sparked Moore to draft the proposal.

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