The Tennessee legislature is trying to crack down on protesters by proposing a invoice that can perchance make it a felony to obstruct a motorway and grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally distress or atomize someone blockading a boulevard.
Jamming a motorway, avenue or sidewalk is a misdemeanor in the thunder, however the proposed legislation would up the punishment to a an well-known $3,000 stunning. The proposal also would enable a driver who “unintentionally causes hurt or death” to an particular person obstructing a roadway to be exempt from prosecution.
The proposed invoice comes after a year of demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice across the country, and thunder Receive. Ron M. Gant, the invoice’s sponsor, said it would possibly well maybe perchance well promote “legislation and reveal.”
Gant did no longer return phone calls and emails trying for narrate.
Furthermore, the invoice would make it a misdemeanor to throw an object at an particular person with the intent to hurt the person or “deliberately intimidating or harassing” someone who’s no longer taking part in a “revolt” will consequence in a misdemeanor.
Brandon Tucker, policy director at the ACLU of Tennessee, known as the proposal a “harmful anti-exclaim” invoice that “targets tranquil assembly.”
“This legislation would suppress exclaim by turning obstruction of traffic into a felony offense, robbing contributors of their merely to vote if they are convicted of these current felony prices,” Tucker said. “This imprecise and troubling suppression of free speech can with out danger be abused, resulting in the criminalization of protesters’ phrases and beliefs.”
The proposed legislation will next be heard in thunder Senate and Apartment committees.