According to CBS News, six states have proposed legislation which would move to protect drivers who run over or hit protesters who do not move out of the way in streets. These states include North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Rhode Island.
Most of these proposals were introduced well before the horrific events in Charlottesville, in response to mass protests following the 2016 election and other protests such as Black Lives Matter responses to civilian deaths by police.
As CBS News notes, these bills are back in focus since the death of Heather Heyer and other world-wide terror events in which vehicles are used to inflict mass harm and death.
Most of these bills have stipulations which suggest that drivers would still be subject to liability if they did intentionally hit protesters. But how exactly do we plan to weed out the truth in terms of who really meant to hurt and kill protesters and who did not?
These bills set the stage for even more unrest throughout the nation. Imagine the uproar if such a bill became law in Virginia and the coward who killed Heather Heyer was cleared of charges because of the technicalities behind this bill. Charlottesville, and perhaps several other places around the nation would still be burning, just like cities all over America did after the murder of Trayvon Martin yielded no criminal charges against George Zimmerman due to Florida’s “stand your ground” paranoia legislation.
What’s more, is when we put these bills in the context of expediting the facilitation of terrorism. The United States is always publicly condemning the international atrocities of cars plowing through crowds of innocent people as acts of terrorism. Even though the president refuses to equate what happened in Charlottesville to actual terrorism, it was terrorism, and these bills make it easier for hateful people to justify what they may do.
These bills must be thrown out by each state legislature and must never become law. If any of them do by chance become law, they must be deemed unconstitutional for facilitating harm and violating the 4th and 5th amendments.