The American Conservatives article A new law designed to prevent people from being hit by police cars has been met with outrage from activists and politicians who say it’s an infringement on their constitutional rights.
The new law, which passed the House Judiciary Committee this week, requires law enforcement officers to give drivers the option of “discharging their firearm” if they feel threatened by the vehicle.
The bill was originally introduced in June and is scheduled to go to the full House for a vote, but its passage is in question as well.
The law, dubbed “The Right to Remain Silent,” requires law officers to inform people who are lawfully in a vehicle if they see them in the area and to give them a reasonable opportunity to leave.
The bill would also require police to report such incidents to the State Police, and it requires officers to report any threat of a physical injury to a person in a car.
“Law enforcement officers who have witnessed a person using a firearm or threatening to use a firearm to harm or assault another person shall immediately notify the police chief or a law enforcement officer assigned to the department,” the bill reads.
“A law enforcement official may use the law enforcement response to the threat of imminent danger to any person in the vehicle or at any other location.”
The bill also provides that if police believe a person is using a gun in a threatening manner, they should “provide immediate assistance to the person” and should “make contact with the person in any way possible.”
The legislation would also prevent law enforcement from using deadly force against drivers in an attempt to “stop a motor vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, or other object from entering a parking lot or driveway,” according to the bill.
The proposed law comes after a spate of deadly confrontations between police and African-American motorists in recent months, and protests in several cities over the issue.
The bills initial passage prompted a protest in Washington, D.C., where demonstrators carried signs that read, “The law is racist.”
Police in New York, New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia have used deadly force on motorists in the last two years after a rash of deadly encounters.
In October, New Orleans police shot and killed a man after he was allegedly reaching for a gun while driving his vehicle.
In September, a Florida police officer fatally shot a man in a Walmart parking lot.
The legislation was passed with broad support from Republicans, including Reps.
Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Trey Gowdy, R.I., who co-sponsored the bill with the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
Lawmakers are expected to take up the bill again this week.