Alabama protest bill draws criticism, gets delayed

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers have delayed action on an anti-riot bill that would stiffen penalties for people taking part in “tumultuous” protests.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday sent the bill to a subcommittee.

Black lawmakers raised concerns about the bill’s vague definition of riot. They also recalled Alabama’s history of using police dogs, fire hoses and arrests to break up civil rights protests.

Republican Rep. Allen Treadaway, a retired Birmingham assistant police chief, proposed the bill after a summer protest in Birmingham – in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis – turned destructive.

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