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Tue Aug 31, 2021, 08:42 PM

Oklahoma NAACP files suit challenging anti-protest law

Source: Associated Press

Oklahoma NAACP files suit challenging anti-protest law

By SEAN MURPHY
August 30, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A bill approved by the Republican-led Oklahoma Legislature this year that seeks to crack down on protesters is unconstitutional and would chill the ability of groups to mobilize people to advocate for racial justice, a civil rights group argues in a federal lawsuit filed Monday.

The Oklahoma chapter of the NAACP filed the lawsuit in federal court in Oklahoma City, along with the national NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center.

The lawsuit argues the law, which takes effect Nov. 1, was written to discourage peaceful demonstrations and violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantee the right of the public to peacefully assemble and give citizens equal protection under the law.

The new law increases the penalties for blocking roadways, grants motorists civil and criminal immunity if they kill or injure someone while fleeing from a riot and authorizes hefty fines for national organizations that coordinate with those found guilty of committing crimes under the state’s rioting statutes.

“Last year, the country watched a video of a man being brutally murdered by law enforcement,” Anthony Douglas, president of Oklahoma State NAACP, said in a statement, referring to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. “Rather than trying to prevent such future injustices in this state, Oklahoma dedicated its efforts to silencing those who fight against injustice.”

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Read more: https://apnews.com/article/george-floyd-race-and-ethnicity-laws-oklahoma-naacp-9e84eff4d71e4dbf932e9d116b9fe674

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