Transcript for “Anti-riot” legislation has been introduced across the country
A big issue now to another one almost a year after the death of George Floyd's backed sparked massive protests across the United States nearly three dozen Republican controlled states. Are introducing penalties for public disorder. Some states are even proposing immunity for drivers who plow window protesters with their cars. Our Devin Dwyer has this story. The right to protest in the streets and facing growing pressure from state Republican lawmakers it is the strongest. Anti writing pro law enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There's just nothing even close so called anti ride at legislation in Florida and nearly three dozen states. Aims to crack down on public demonstrations. Like those that swept the nation after the shocking murder of George Floyd in police custody last year. If you ride it if you allude if you harm others particularly. If you harm a law enforcement officer during one of these violent assemblies. You're going to jail. This civil unrest in Portland Oregon and several other cities has become a fixation of many Republicans far from the scenes. Some now demanding tougher penalties for vandalism harassment of police and acts of Civil Disobedience. At least ninety bills targeting protests have been introduced across 35 states since last many. We. Want others. Our spirit our friends I am President Reagan in bitter nature in the extreme legs are too. I'm to restrict ensure. Civil rights advocates say many of the new GOP bills challenge the First Amendment right of people peaceably to assemble. Effectively reclassified protest as riots in punishing innocent bystanders if even a few bad actors turned violent. Along pretty situation where. Pastors are on news. Criminal charges which could carry her series on being. An independent analysis of 121000 demonstrations over the last year found most were peaceful. 96%. Had no property damage 98%. Had no injuries reported. But Iowa legislators passed a bill this month to make being present during a riot a felony we're gonna. Up the penalties for rioting because what we've seen is not peaceful protest and what we've seen as destruction. And damage and our communities that we should not be standing for. I really think this bill unnecessarily. Pits law enforcement against. Groups like black lives matter and other protesters just at the time. When we need to be bringing all of these groups together. Kentucky senate approved a bill making it a crime to taunt or in Seoul police. In Indiana and Minnesota bills would cut state benefits for anyone convicted of unlawful assembly. Oklahoma is one of several states extending immunity to drivers who unintentionally hit protesters with their cars. It's really about protecting folks to get caught up in the melee. Tulsa last year the driver of a red pickup truck towing a horse trailer was swarmed and an interstate during a protest. Several people were injured the driver reportedly feared for his life he was not charged. They need to extricate themselves that they feel like there's a new image Norman that's what the bill does. To me. These are encouraging ranching. Com and murder and mayhem and a number of ways. Susan bro knows firsthand the dangerous parts of the protesters. 12017. Her daughter Heather higher was struck and killed by a self described new. I know that. Minneapolis. Hands. Seattle. I get attached. I would have been terrified by itself should regardless of what sign I was Owen. Those kinds of riots. M protest happen. A lot of the place that are having makes last credited twice. Now. And get into wires with us now for more on this great story DeVon. How he's the new policy pushes. He nominally to you know protect the public order and safety. How they reflected divide that snapped a that we see now lives in so many years between Democrats Republican support on the right to protest. Yeah well the fact Terry that these are all Republican sponsored illustrates a pretty stark difference in how the parties view the right to protest and in fact as you just mentioned. He ostensibly here this is about law and order they're being sold as a reaction. To the violence and vandalism that we saw we all saw what our own eyes it did happen in some of those protests last year. But it but get this there are already have laws on the books at every single state. Against assaulting a police officer it's a crime. Two to vandalized a 7-Eleven store to smash windows and these laws are necessary they ratchet up press penalties. But critics say they certainly are about politics more than anything else Terry take a look at these poll numbers. I've from the Pew Research Center. How which really illustrate this divide look at this they asked. How important is the right to peacefully protest in our country 83% of rather Democrats and very important only 53%. Of Republicans agreed that it's now eleven points. Over the past two years of this divide over a fundamental right in America the right to speak up. A step out into the streets. Appears to be growing based on party affiliation Terry. Plan that is striking statistics show. So how are these laws are going to be enforced what would happen. For them to get enforce what kind of legal challenges might there be. Well first of all let's just be clear a lot of these are bills are proposed bills in state legislatures as. Many of them have been moving forward in recent weeks but only a handful so far. Have actually been signed into law Florida Oklahoma as you mentioned in the piece. Among them most recent to take effect notices a small number but unprecedented number given how many times he sorts of things. Have come up so we'll keep an eye on a lot of these laws experts tell us many of them probably will fall by the wayside. Some will get true. There are legal challenges. Underweight Terry in fact in Florida one of the kid a kid states we've focused on in the piece already facing a constitutional lawsuit. And flung bases First Amendment if amend their fourteenth amendment in federal court part by the ACLU and other steering. A battle as you see him for one of the fundamental rights oldest rights Americans had Devin Dwyer thanks very much of that story. Thanks to.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.