RALEIGH, N.C. — In 2020, countless downtown Raleigh businesses were looted during protests over the death of George Floyd.
Now, some lawmakers are saying no more and are introducing a bill that is focused on putting an end to looting.
What You Need To Know
- "Anti-riot" bill would increase penalties on looters
- One Raleigh business owner says he's all for the idea after his pub was destroyed in 2020 by looting
- If passed, the act would go into effect in late December
House Bill 40, nicknamed the "anti-riot" bill, would increase the penalties for rioting or inciting rioting that causes damage to property or serious injury or death to another person.
We spoke with Michael Ruiz, a business owner in downtown Raleigh, who says he's all for the bill after his pub, The Bridge, was destroyed by looting in 2020.
“I haven’t heard about the bill, but anything that would help people from going through that activity," Ruiz said.
But not everyone is on board. Kerwin Pittman is a social justice activist.
“This bill will pretty much give law enforcement discretion to target those out there exercising their constitutional right in protest," Pittman said. “I do not believe that they are trying to [stop] any type of problems that may arose from protests, and I believe they are trying to stop people from protesting with legislation put forth like this.”
A similar bill passed through the General Assembly last year but was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
But now, a Democrat is one of the sponsors, meaning there could be enough votes to override a possible veto should it get to that point again.
If passed, the act would go into effect in late December.