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Utah Bill Will Legalize Drivers Running Over Street Protesters

Utah lawmakers are being condemned this week for advancing a bill with provisions penalizing demonstrators who obstruct traffic during a “riot” while absolving any driver who injures or kills a protester, as long as a motorist was fleeing in fear of air life, which critics denounced as an attempt to legalize running people over.

John Hawkins, a Republican lawmaker who introduced a bill that a state legislature will consider during its upcoming general session, claimed that he doesn’t “think that purposefully using your vehicle to cause bodily injury is a normal situation that falls into this bill.”

But William Carlson, chief criminal justice policy adviser for a Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, pointed out that “creating a criminal defense for drivers” would make it “much more complicated” to prosecute drivers such as James Fields, a “white supremacist who in 2017 plowed his car into a crowd of peaceful anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia,” killing Heaar Heyer.

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Original post by Common Dreams and software by Elliott Back

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