Bill to raise NC riot penalties clears Senate committee

North Carolina news

FILE – House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, gavels in a session as North Carolina legislators convene on the House floor to move forward a coronavirus relief package in Raleigh, N.C., April 30, 2020. A North Carolina Senate committee voted Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, to advance a measure that would impose tougher penalties on those who engage in violent protests. Moore, the bill’s sponsor, said his plan will better protect businesses and police from violence and property damage similar to what he saw occur in Raleigh last year during demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina Senate committee has voted to advance a measure that would impose tougher penalties on those who engage in violent protests.

House Speaker Tim Moore said his plan will better protect businesses and law enforcement from violence and property damage similar to what he saw take place in Raleigh last year after the death of George Floyd.

Some Democrats worry the bill will have a chilling effect by making people less willing to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

Moore’s bill was approved by the House earlier this year. It next heads to another Senate committee.

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