State lawmaker proposes legislation offering immunity to those overcome by protestors

10/24/2017 09:05 AM

RICHMOND — Republican Rep. Wesley Morgan has prefiled legislation that would give immunity to drivers that accidentally hit protestors with a car. The bill also seeks to prohibit protestors from wearing masks or concealing their identity.

“If you go into moving traffic and a mother and her kids are coming back from school and you run in front of her car and she, and you hit this protestor, then he should not be able to go and file a lawsuit against you in court criminal charges against you,” Morgan told Pure Politics. “Now, unless you can intentionally provide they ran over you they are not liable.”

The proposed legislation offers immunity to drivers overcome by protest, not immunity to drivers, like James Fields who allegedly plowed in to a crowd on purpose in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“If you do something intentional you are absolutely liable for all civil and criminal proceedings,” Morgan said.

Morgan is hoping to shift the burden of proof from the driver to the alleged victim.

The bill, if passed into law, would make it a misdemeanor for violent protestors to purposefully hide hide their identity as well.

“They have a first amendment right to protest, I’m not trying to say anything about the protest, they have first amendment right to say whatever they want to say, but they do not have a first amendment right to hide their identity and either destroy property to hurt people, they don’t have that Constitutional right.”

Rep. Morgan says he plans to file a slightly different version of bill in the coming days.

Reporting by Richard Essex.

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