The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that would grant drivers immunity for hitting protesters blocking traffic.
No longer will motorists be forced to remain in the middle of a riot and have to worry about being pulled from their car and beaten.
They can now try to drive through the maddening crowd to affect their escape and if someone gets hit, it’s their own fault for refusing to move.
But, this is not a license to see how many rioters you can hit. You can not get a running start before hitting them. If the bill passes in the Senate and is signed by the governor, it will give you permission to slowly try to work your way through the rioters without being prosecuted.
Unfortunately, cowcatchers and spikes will not be allowed on your front bumper.
The bill came under fire from legislative Democrats who said the Republican majority was looking to lash out at protesters instead of taking steps to address systemic racism and police misconduct that have spurred widespread Black Lives Matter protests.
Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, called the bill draconian and accused legislative Republicans of intentionally bringing the measure up for the vote around 12:30 a.m., after more than 14 hours of voting on legislation, in order to avoid public scrutiny.
Republican Rep. Kevin McDugle introduced the bill, saying he supports the rights of Oklahomans to protest peacefully, but riots are unacceptable. “This bill simply says, ‘please stay to the peaceful protests,’” he said. “Don’t block roads. Don’t impede on the freedoms of others.”
In a heated floor debate, McDugle referenced an incident in Tulsa where a pickup pulling a horse trailer drove through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrating on a highway. Several protesters were seriously injured, including a man who was paralyzed from the waist down after falling from an overpass.
The driver acted out of fear, McDugle said.
Saying several protesters attacked the pickup in which a man was driving his children, the Tulsa County district attorney did not file charges against the driver.