OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill to clarify and strengthen penalties for those who commit crimes during violent riots is now on its way to the full Senate. Senate Bill 806, creating the Oklahoma Citizens’ Protection Act, by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, was approved on Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Peaceful protest is a right under our Constitution, but this bill is about violent riots that put life and property at risk,” Weaver said. “SB 806 takes a reasonable approach by clarifying and strengthening specific penalties and emphasizing community service and restitution for damaged or destroyed property.”
The measure strengthens penalties for crimes including assault of a law enforcement officer, details penalties for those who refuse orders to disperse and for those who block or obstruct traffic on public highways or streets, as well as those who deface or destroy property during riots.
Weaver, former head of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, said he was especially shocked by the destruction of private property during riots in Oklahoma City last summer, including the burning of a nonprofit called Dress for Success, which provides disadvantaged women with appropriate clothes, assistance with resumes and other services to help them find jobs.
“My bill would make community service and restitution mandatory, instead of optional,” Weaver said. “I believe this legislation is a common sense approach aimed at holding those who commit crimes during riots more accountable.”
For more information, contact Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email Darrell.Weaver@oksenate.gov.
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