A Missouri state representative said he has a plan to file legislation to increase penalties against those who impede traffic, according to KMOX.
Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, said he plans to pre-file legislation in December to increase criminal penalties for those who intentionally block traffic on highways or interstates without a permit, KMOX reported. There needs to be a harsher penalty than a slap on the wrist, he said.
Schroer said the new legislation will protect individuals’ First Amendment rights still, but will also protect the safety of people on roadways.
143 demonstrators were arrested Tuesday after they took their protest about former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley’s not-guilty verdict in the December 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith to Interstate 64 and blocked traffic, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reported.
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The St. Louis protests have drawn a quick response from legislators, many of whom have introduced new bills to clear up what protesters and police can and can’t do.
St. Louis alderwoman Megan Green filed a proposal to repeal an existing ordinance on unlawful assemblies to help protect First Amendment rights, the Associated Press reported.