The Oklahoma state Senate on Wednesday passed a law protecting drivers who’re fleeing a riot and end up hitting protesters that are intentionally blocking the road.
According to this, the measure, passed 38-10, would give immunity to drivers who hurt or even kill protesters while attempting to flee a riot if they’re in fear for their lives. The bill also increases the penalty for protesters who illegally block roads. The bill has already been passed by the state House and will now head to Gov. Kevin Stitt's desk for signing.
As protests following just about every police-involved shooting of a black man have raged across the country for the past several years – including a particularly violent summer last year following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd – video from many protests have shown rioters jumping on the vehicles of both police officers and private citizens, some of whom even had children in their cars when they were attacked. One driver was attacked in Hollywood, California while trying to weave through a large group of protesters clogging up an intersection. Another woman in North Carolina said she feared for her life after being trapped in her car by protesters while trying to get home from a grocery run.
A woman in Fredericksburg, Virginia said police told her there was nothing they could do to help her after she called 9-1-1, saying protesters had trapped her on a highway and were attacking her vehicle with her one-year-old child in the backseat.
According to one USA Today report, 104 protesters were hit by vehicles in the four months following Floyd’s death.