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Tennessee Governors Signs Bill To Charge Rioters With Felonies

The new law went into affect immediately and targeted acts against emergency personal and destruction of public property among the new felony charges.


Unfortunately for many of our fellow citizens in America, push back against rioters, agitators, and other violent criminals taking to the streets of our country is being done on a partisan basis.

Democratic leaders and attorneys are treating them like the Second Coming of Che Guevara.

Luckily some sane leaders are making sure there is a cost to lawlessness on our streets.

From AP:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee protesters will face harsher penalties, including losing the right to vote, for breaking certain laws during demonstrations under a law enacted by Gov. Bill Lee.

The Republican governor quietly signed off on the bill Thursday. Lee has previously conceded there were portions of the bill he “would have done differently” but ultimately agreed to make the proposal law effective immediately with his signature.

Tennessee’s GOP-dominant General Assembly advanced the measure last week during a brief three-day special legislative session while also passing bills on COVID-19 liability immunity and telemedicine.

Most notably, the new law now states that those who illegally camp on state property would now face a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, rather than a misdemeanor. Felony convictions in Tennessee result in the revocation of an individual’s right to vote.

The bill also imposes a mandatory minimum 45-day hold if convicted of aggravated rioting; enhances the fine for obstructing emergency vehicles from accessing highways; requires a court to order restitution for damaging state property; and creates a Class C felony offense for aggravated assault against a first responder — which carries a $15,000 fine and mandatory minimum 90-day prison sentence.

The governor said a provision requiring a warning to those camping illegally strengthened the bill, and cited the discretion of prosecutors and judges.

The leader of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, who had asked Lee to veto the legislation, said Thursday the group will be closely monitoring enforcement of the law and urged Tennesseans “to get out and vote like their rights depend on it.”

“We are very disappointed in Governor Lee’s decision to sign this bill, which chills free speech, undermines criminal justice reform and fails to address the very issues of racial justice and police violence raised by the protesters who are being targeted,” ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg said in a statement. “While the governor often speaks about sentencing reform, this bill contradicts those words and wastes valuable taxpayer funds to severely criminalize dissent.”

Lawmakers advanced the bill amid nearly two months of frequent protests outside the Capitol. The mostly young Black activists who spearheaded the demonstration had been calling for racial justice reforms and for a meeting with Lee.

The governor has declined to meet with them, but has met with a handful of Black leaders as part of a previous promise to address “racial reconciliation” and other racial justice issues.”

The Tennessean also details the targeted activites in question:

Gov. Bill Lee signed into law on Thursday a bill that stiffens penalties for protesters who camp on state property such as the Capitol.

House Bill 8005, sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, House Republican Majority Leader, went into effect immediately.

Camping on state property, which was previously a misdemeanor, will now be classified as a Class E felony punishable by one to six years in prison. Convicted felons also lose the right to vote and carry a gun.

The law also criminalized marking with chalk on a government building and introduced mandatory minimum jail sentences for certain crimes.

The legislation was promised by House leadership in early June when demonstrations against police brutality — and later against Lee and the General Assembly — began increasing in Nashville.

The bill received pushback from individual activists and groups including the Tennessee chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, which lobbied for Lee to veto the bill."

As stated in the AP excerpt, this is already being predictably challenged by Civil Rights groups and spun by pundits pretending that it's equivolent to Jim Crow Laws. 

My two questions are:

When did blocking Emergency Vehicles from reaching their destination become equivalent with "chicken theft?"

And when will Liberals stop calling acts of violence and destruction "protesting?"


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