NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A bill seeking to increase penalties for certain types of protests was filed for introduction on Friday by Tennessee House GOP Leader, William Lamberth.
The bill states:
Some protests on and around government property, including the State Capitol grounds have resulted in vandalism and defacement of property, overnight camping on public property in violation of state law, and other risks to public safety.House Bill 8005
It also states:
This legislation is needed to safeguard the right of all Tennesseans to peacefully demonstrate by protecting the safety of state employees and the public and preventing damage or destruction to public and private property, including the prosecution of offenses committed against law enforcement, first responders, state employees and contractors, public officials, and public and private property;House Bill 8005
The bill states legislation is needed to establish a framework of laws that would protect the rights of all Tennessee citizens to peacefully demonstrate.
The bill would revise certain criminal laws impacting peaceful demonstrations. It would also authorize the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute crimes when the victim is a state employee, state property was damaged or the administration of state government was delayed as a result of the crime.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.