JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.- The Missouri Senate has voted 24-9 to pass a bill that would charge protesters for blocking a public street or highway and adds a bill of rights for law enforcement officers.
Senators debated nearly eight hours Monday into Tuesday morning.
This bill increases the penalties for an individual who endangers a first responder from responding to a call. Another part of the bill creates an offense for protesters who block traffic on public streets, highways, or interstates. The first offense would be an infraction, a second violation would be a class B misdemeanor, and any other violations would be a class E felony.
Added early Tuesday morning to the bill, any offense that is done during an “unlawful assembly,” which is six or more people, the first offense is an infraction, the second is a class A misdemeanor, and the third violation is a class D felony.
The measure also adds a “bill of rights” for law enforcement officers by protecting officers who are under investigation by notifying him or her of the alleged violation and who would be conducting the investigation. Also, the questioning of the officer would only happen while on duty.
The bill now heads to the House for approval.