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Oklahoma governor signs bill to crack down on protesters

FILE: Members of the Missouri Highway Patrol block protesters from entering a highway,...
FILE: Members of the Missouri Highway Patrol block protesters from entering a highway, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Richmond Heights, Mo. A large group of protesters gathered to speak out against the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(KY3)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:28 AM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Wednesday to crack down on protesters by increasing penalties for blocking roadways and granting immunity to motorists who kill or injure rioters.

The bill was one of 44 bills signed into law by the Republican governor and one of a series of GOP-backed proposals across the country aimed at cracking down on protesters.

The bill makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine to block a public street and grant criminal and civil immunity to motorists that kill or injure someone while fleeing a riot.

Supporters of the bill said it was prompted mostly by an incident in Tulsa last summer in which a pickup truck drove through a crowd gathered on a Tulsa interstate while protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Several people were injured, including one paralyzed from the waist down after falling from an overpass. The driver, whose family was in the car, was not charged.Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.