“This is not about lawful protest in any way, shape, form or fashion,” he said. “This country was built on lawful protest and it’s something we must maintain — our citizens’ right to do so.”
Carroll continued, “What this deals with are those who cross the line and commit criminal acts. If you see the riots, you see people getting in these officers faces, yelling in their ears, doing anything they can to provoke a violent response.”
Democratic state Sen. David Yates was among those who opposed the bill, criticizing its language and arguing that law enforcement officers should be able to resist provocation if someone happens to be yelling at them.
“I think by us having that kind of language in here, it makes my stomach turn, because I don’t believe any of my good officers are going to provoke a violent response because someone does a ‘your mama’ joke or whatnot,” Yates said.
The legislation also attempts to address calls to defund police, stating that “governmental entities responsible for the funding of the various law enforcement agencies shall maintain and improve their respective financial support to the Commonwealth’s law enforcement agencies.” Additionally, it would make anyone who “knowingly provides supplies to a riot that can be used as weapons or dangerous instruments” guilty of riot in the first degree.