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Texas Governor proposes felonies for rioting, causing injury or destroying property

Gov. Abbott speaking at the Dallas Police Association
(Courtesy: NBC DFW)
Gov. Abbott speaking at the Dallas Police Association (Courtesy: NBC DFW) (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

DALLAS, Tex. – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced new proposals Thursday designed to keep police officers safer while working protests or riots, according to a report from NBCDFW.

“Today we are announcing more legislative proposals to protect our officers as well as do more to keep our community safe,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.

Abbott said that while the U.S. Constitution guaranteed people the right to assemble peacefully, it did not provide the right to riot, rob, loot, set fires, or to harm anyone or anything.

Abbott said he was proposing legislation that enhanced the punishment for several existing laws while criminalizing other acts, including:

  • Anyone causing injury or destroying property during a protest will face a felony with mandatory jail time.
  • Anyone striking an officer during a riot will face a felony with a mandatory sentence of six months in jail.
  • Anyone pointing lasers at police will face a felony with mandatory jail time.
  • Anyone blocking entrances or exits to hospitals will face a felony with mandatory jail time.
  • Anyone using fireworks will face a criminal charge and will include mandatory jail time.
  • Anyone who aids rioters with funds or organizational assistance will face a felony with mandatory jail time. This will also give the Office of the Attorney General power to pursue civil penalties against people and organizations.

Abbott said he wanted to make it abundantly clear that those who seek to harm police will not be walking the streets for at least six months.

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