Protesters marched onto Interstate 35 and blocked traffic during a protest near downtown Austin on May 30, 2020.

Protesters marched onto Interstate 35 and blocked traffic near downtown Austin last May, after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Credit: Courtesy of Dylan Manshack

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

The Texas Senate voted 25-5 to pass a bill that would raise criminal penalties and require jail time for people who knowingly obstruct emergency vehicles from passing through a roadway or who block a hospital entrance. It now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill is in response to last year’s nationwide protests against police brutality, which were sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Massive protests erupted in major cities across the country, including in Texas, where demonstrators were arrested for allegedly damaging property or blocking roadways.

House Bill 9, which now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, would make it a state jail felony for people who knowingly obstruct an emergency vehicle that has its lights flashing and sirens turned on. People could also face felony charges for obstructing the entrance of a licensed hospital. The Texas House passed the bill, 90-55, a few weeks ago.

Floyd’s murder, coupled with last year’s protests against police brutality, sparked waves of legislative attempts to reform policing in America, but the events also sparked GOP-led legislation that aims to crack down on protesters who demonstrate on highways in several states. In Iowa and Oklahoma, Republican lawmakers passed bills that would grant immunity to drivers who strike and injure protesters on public streets.

In the aftermath of an unruly police brutality protest last May at the Texas Capitol, the Texas Department of Public Safety devoted hundreds of hours in tracking down the people who protested, which led to more than a dozen arrests. The DPS investigation was highly publicized, and lawyers called it a political “witch hunt.”

Abbott indicated his support for HB 9, by state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, in a tweet May 5.

“Texas will always defend the right to peacefully protest, but blocking roadways & preventing emergency vehicle access won’t be tolerated,” Abbott said. “Proud to support @StephanieKlick’s #HB9 which creates a criminal penalty for protestors who block traffic & emergency vehicles on TX highways.”

47 Responses

  1. Alice

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    Reply
  2. Nancee

    This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!)
    Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

    Reply
  3. live casino

    Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive
    a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it
    with someone!

    Reply
  4. Trudi

    What’s up Dear, are you really visiting this site
    on a regular basis, if so after that you will definitely take pleasant know-how.

    Reply
  5. Randy

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s articles or reviews every day along with
    a cup of coffee.

    Reply
  6. Hollie

    Ahaa, its pleasant conversation about this piece of writing at this place at this web site, I have read all that, so at
    this time me also commenting here.

    Reply
  7. Kristi

    What’s up, I desire to subscribe for this website to obtain most up-to-date updates, therefore where can i do it
    please assist.

    Reply
  8. best anti-aging skin care

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written any better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read. Thanks
    for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Forum.Strany.cz

    I cling on to listening to the newscast speak about receiving free online
    grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to
    get one. Could you tell me please, where could i get
    some?

    Reply
  10. Larue

    Hello there, I discovered your web site by the use of Google even as searching for a related matter, your website
    came up, it appears to be like good. I’ve bookmarked it in my
    google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply was aware of your blog thru Google, and
    located that it’s truly informative. I’m going to be careful for brussels.
    I’ll be grateful in case you continue this in future.
    Many folks will likely be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    Reply
  11. bet on politics

    Hi there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  12. Alisa

    When someone writes an article he/she maintains the thought of a
    user in his/her brain that how a user can know it.
    Thus that’s why this article is outstdanding. Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Bettie

    Ahaa, its good conversation regarding this post here at this
    blog, I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

    Reply
  14. Maynard

    Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of
    my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he
    will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  15. Darla

    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done
    an impressive job and our entire community might be grateful
    to you.

    Reply
  16. Cruz

    Thanks for finally writing about > Bill that would make it a felony for Texas protesters to obstruct emergency vehicles heads to the governor’s
    desk – Houston Cigar Life < Loved it!

    Reply
  17. Kraig

    Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i could assume
    you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let
    me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

    Reply
  18. Genia

    magnificent points altogether, you just won a new reader.
    What may you recommend about your post that you simply made some days in the past?
    Any positive?

    Reply
  19. Ivey

    Hey! I realize this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does operating a well-established website such as yours require a lot of work?
    I’m completely new to writing a blog but I do write in my diary
    on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of
    recommendations or tips for new aspiring blog owners.
    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  20. Raymond

    Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be
    okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new
    posts.

    Reply
  21. Francine

    I pay a visit everyday some blogs and websites to read posts, except this website presents feature based writing.

    Reply
  22. Charmain

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  23. Katrice

    This excellent website really has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn’t
    know who to ask.

    Reply
  24. Woodrow

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but
    after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found
    it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

    Reply
  25. Merrill

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do
    with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Reply
  26. Toby

    What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has
    helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution &
    assist different customers like its helped me. Good job.

    Reply
  27. Elma

    Thanks designed for sharing such a pleasant thought, piece of writing is pleasant, thats why i have read it completely

    Reply
  28. web hosting on

    whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your posts. Stay up
    the great work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

    Reply
  29. j.mp

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come
    back in the future. Cheers

    Reply
  30. http://j.mp/3kKtL7d

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative.
    I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    Reply
  31. http://bit.ly/2WShZQd

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the last part
    🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info
    for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    Reply
  32. sv388

    Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you
    download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

    Reply
  33. 먹튀검증

    I used to be recommended this blog through my cousin. I’m now not positive whether or not this post is written by way of him as no
    one else realize such precise about my trouble. You’re
    incredible! Thank you!

    Reply
  34. 여성알바

    Fine way of explaining, and good post to take information regarding my presentation subject,
    which i am going to convey in institution of higher education.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.