OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, said he wants to strengthen Oklahoma statutes to better deter violence and ensure financial accountability for those who destroy property during riots. Standridge said he’s already been working with staff on his proposed legislation ahead of the 2021 session.
“I cannot state strongly enough that I support the people’s right to peaceably assemble, to protest and to express their points of view—these rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution—but the deliberate and wanton destruction of property and other people’s livelihoods must not and will not be tolerated,” Standridge said.
Standridge said current Oklahoma statutes on rioting and unlawful assembly are good, but he believes they can be stronger, particularly in the area of destruction of property. Some protests held in Oklahoma last summer left businesses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa with damage ranging from graffiti to broken windows, while a nonprofit organization near downtown Oklahoma City was set on fire.
“We need to make sure whether it is 50 cents or $5,000, the person responsible for breaking windows, destroying cars or setting entire businesses on fire needs to be held responsible for every single penny of that destruction,” Standridge said. “I think by doing that, we can not only do more to hold rioters accountable, but I also think it will discourage people from this indiscriminate destruction of property.”
According to statute, the first day legislators can begin filing legislation ahead of the 2021 session is Nov. 15, 2020.
For more information, contact Sen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535 or email Rob.Standridge@oksenate.gov.