Tennessee spikes bill to protect drivers who hit protestors


Protesters block State of Franklin Road in Johnson City in 2020 (Photo: WJHL)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee proposal to provide legal immunity to drivers who hit protesters and increase penalties for demonstrators who obstruct major roads has stalled for the year.

The bill was among the dozen proposals Republicans across the country had submitted in an attempt to curb protests that temporarily paralyze traffic — a tactic that was used often last summer during demonstrations against racial injustice.

Oklahoma lawmakers have already passed a similar version earlier this year.

Yet in Tennessee, looming legal concerns about the bill caused the Senate Judicial panel on Tuesday to hit pause on the proposal.

Instead, the committee agreed to possibly bring it back up next year after studying the issue over the summer.

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