Should drivers who 'accidentally' hit and kill protesters receive legal protection? | The Tylt

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Should drivers who 'accidentally' hit and kill protesters receive legal protection?
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Lawmakers in North Dakota want to protect drivers who accidentally hit protesters blocking a roadway. Rep. Keith Kempenich, the bill's author, says the law switches the burden of proof from the driver to the protester—because the protester is the one breaking the law. Critics say the law is an attack on the #NoDAPL 'Water Protectors' who have been blocking roadways as a protest tactic to great effect. They worry the law would effectively legalize violence against protesters. What do you think?

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Should drivers who 'accidentally' hit and kill protesters receive legal protection?
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Kempenich says the law is designed to protect the rights of innocent bystanders. Drivers should not be held responsible when they are forced into a dangerous situation by another party. 

One distraught driver in particular caught Kempenich’s attention — his 72-year-old mother-in-law. She was driving on Highway 1806 when suddenly she found herself swarmed by protesters, chanting, holding signs and, she told her legislator son-in-law, jumping in front of her car.

That’s where Kempenich got the idea for the legislation. He stressed that he is not trying to legalize vehicular manslaughter in the state of North Dakota. Drivers still have to do all they can to avoid protesters.

But the law says protesters have to do their part as well to stay on sidewalks and road shoulders. If they don’t, Kempenich told The Post, the law should favor law-abiding motorists.

"The first amendment gives people the right of freedom to assemble peacefully but it also gives the right for people to ignore that protest," he said.

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The bill is unlikely to become a law, but it sparked controversy on social media as people saw it as a direct attack on protesters at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Critics of the bill say it is addressing a problem that does not exist—no protesters are jumping in front of cars. Critics see this bill as a huge overreaction to a few blocked roads.

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Despite the outrage, many think the bill is a good idea. 

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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should drivers who 'accidentally' hit and kill protesters receive legal protection?
#ProtectTheDriver
A festive crown for the winner
#DontSuppressProtest