North Dakota Pushes Bill to Raise Penalty for Rioting
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota law enforcement and state prosecutors are supporting a Republican-sponsored bill that would increase penalties for people involved in riots.
Representative Todd Porter of Mandan told the House Judiciary Committee on Monday that the proposal is in response to the Dakota Access pipeline protests.
Among other things, the bill would increase the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony for people charged with participating in a riot of 100 or fewer people.
Porter says the lesser charge isn’t enough.
North Dakota has been the center of protests against the $3.8 billion, four-state pipeline, in large part because of objections of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in the southern part of the state. There have been more than 625 arrests in the region since mid-August.