Missouri Senate bill cracks down on road-blocking protesters

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri protesters who repeatedly block traffic without permission could face felony charges under a bill advancing in the state Senate.

Senators on Tuesday gave the measure initial approval. The measure follows protests last summer in the St. Louis area over the death of George Floyd, including demonstrations that blocked major highways.

Republican critics have argued the protest method might block ambulances and puts demonstrators at risk of being hit. Blocking traffic without permission would first be punished as an infraction under the bill. A third offense would be a felony. Violators would face up to four years in prison.

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