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NC House sends bill to stiffen penalties for rioters to Gov. Cooper’s desk

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The state House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would increase criminal penalties for people involved in riots, sending the bill to Gov. Roy Cooper (D).

Republican House Speaker Tim Moore has advocated for the bill to pass after he witnessed the riots in Raleigh last year following the murder of George Floyd.

The vote was 63-41, with Democrats raising concerns about potentially infringing on First Amendment rights of people seeking to protest peacefully.

Social justice groups have decried the bill as an affront to the Black Lives Matter movement and an effort to deter people who are seeking to demonstrate peacefully from attending protests.

“Those folks who want to engage in violence, want to engage in the destruction of property, it’s not gonna happen and it’s gonna be dealt with,” said Moore. “We’ve dealt with all of the legitimate criticisms that were there about making sure someone could not be inadvertently caught up in this who didn’t do anything. We’ve made that as clear as we possibly can.”

The bill would allow police to charge people with more serious felonies if they cause damage in excess of $1,500 or serious bodily injury or someone’s death.Property owners would be […]

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