Anti-riot bill becomes law without Governor Cooper’s signature


Sunday, March 19, 2023, 02:17 AM

Tougher penalties for rioters

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – This week, Governor Roy Cooper allowed two bills to become law without his signature, including HB 40, also known as Riots and Disorders Prevention Bill.

The new law provides increased penalties for rioting or inciting riots that result in property damage, serious bodily injury or death.

Cooper vetoed a similar bill last year and indicated in a statement that his concerns remain.

“I recognize the changes that have been made to modify this legislation after I vetoed a similar bill last year,” Cooper said. “Property damage and violence are already illegal, and my ongoing concerns about the erosion of the First Amendment and the disparate impact on communities of color will prevent me from signing this legislation.”

North Carolina Democrat Marques Thompson feared the bill could potentially silence more voices.

“It potentially criminalizes protest and makes it so that people who are now peacefully protesting, because of how vaguely this law is written, can now be charged with a felony and lose their right to vote,” Thompson said.

The bill was inspired by the demonstrations in downtown Raleigh after the death of George Floyd.

“Damaging property was already illegal, but this bill forces three or more people to call it a ‘riot’ when people are protesting,” Thompson said. “When people decide to protest, they do it peacefully. They always strive. No one wants property destroyed.”

While an earlier version of the bill faced strong opposition from Democrats, HB 40 cleared the Senate in March with one Democrat joining Republicans.

“I am pleased that this bipartisan bill will finally become law,” said North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore. “While the First Amendment guarantees the right to peaceful protest, those who hijack peaceful demonstrations to cause chaos and destruction in our communities must be held accountable, and law enforcement must have our support in doing so.”

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Anti-riot bill becomes law without Governor Cooper’s signature

Source link Anti-riot bill becomes law without Governor Cooper’s signature