Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed two anti-protest bills into law on Wednesday, April 21, just as protesters gathered outside the state capitol, forcing the House and Senate chambers to shut their doors.

One bill would raise the fines for blocking roadways and provide protection to motorists who kill or hurt rioters on the road. Another bill aims to prevent police officers from being doxxed. Both bills passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate before hitting Stitt’s desk, according to Fox News.

A group of demonstrators headed into the Capitol to protest the legislation that they called anti-protest bills.

Some demonstrators got into a squabble with lawmakers. According to reports, the group then attempted to enter the Senate chamber, which had been closed.

Under new measures, blocking the use of a public street will become a crime punishable by up to a year in prison or a $5,000 fine. According to Fox News, the bill will also give motorists criminal and civil protection if they kill or hurt others while fleeing a riot.

Republican Sen. Rob Standridge, who authored the bill, said that he was inspired to act after a pickup truck sped through a crowd protesting Floyd’s death on the Tulsa interstate last summer. Some of the protestors were pushed to the overpass’s edge. Several people were hurt, and one of them was left paralyzed from the waist down. The driver, who was traveling with his family, was not fined.

“The kids cowered in the back seat because they feared for their lives,” Standridge stated. “That’s what this bill is about.”

The Oklahoma bill follows on from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing an “anti-riot” bill into law on Monday, which raises fines for crimes committed during protests. Its focus is on “combating public disorder,” according to Law Officer

“If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” DeSantis said at a press conference. 


Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.