North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill on Friday that would have increased penalties for those who engage in riots that result in damage or injury. “People who commit crimes during riots and at other times should be prosecuted and our laws provide for that, but this legislation is unnecessary and is intended to intimidate and deter people from exercising their constitutional rights to peacefully protest,” Cooper, a Democrat, said in a press release. A person would have faced felony charges and jail time if he or she caused damage to property, or assaulted a citizen or emergency personnel, during a protest or state of emergency. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican and one of the bill’s sponsors, called it a “common-sense bill” written to protect “small businesses and individuals in the event that a protest became violent and focused solely on the perpetrators of violence rather than …


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