Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law that protects drivers who unintentionally kill or injure people who were participating in riots.
According to NBC News, the legislation also makes it a misdemeanor to obstruct a roadway or impede vehicular traffic, punishable by up to a year in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine.
Oklahoma’s House Bill 1674 was inspired by an incident that happened last summer, when a pickup truck pulling a trailer mowed down Black Lives Matter protesters on Interstate 244 in Tulsa. Three people were seriously injured, including a 33-year-old man who was left paralyzed from the waist down after he fell from an overpass.
At the time, D. A. Steve Kunzweiler declined to file charges against the driver in that incident, claiming several people had attacked the vehicle while the driver’s children were inside.
The bill absolves the operator of the motor vehicle from any criminal or civil liability if the injury or death occurs “while the motor vehicle operator was fleeing from a riot” and “The motor vehicle operator exercised due care at the time of the death or injury.”