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Ohio Law and Order Act Passes House Committee

November 10, 2021
Sara P. Carruthers News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee today favorably reported out House Bill 109, also known as the Ohio Law and Order Act, which is legislation that creates new criminal offenses to combat rioting, looting and violence in Ohio.

“I have always adamantly defended every citizens’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest,” said Abrams. “This bill only applies to those who are knowingly violating the law by violently rioting and endangering people and businesses.”

The act, sponsored by State Reps. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton), allows peace officers to bring civil suits against persons participating in a riot and increases the penalties for disorderly conduct when the offender hinders the movement of people if the violation occurs during a riot or illegal protest.

The Ohio Law and Order Act creates the following offenses:

  • Riot assault for recklessly causing physical harm to another person during a riot, punishable by a fifth degree felony or a fourth degree felony if the action is against a peace officer
  • Riot vandalism for recklessly causing harm to government property, including a tomb, monument, or gravestone, punishable by a fifth degree felony
  • Bias motivated intimidation for maliciously harming a person or property based on the victim’s status as a first responder, punishable by a third degree felony

“This bill is about protecting the safety of our fellow law enforcement officers, first responders, small businesses and law abiding citizens,” said Carruthers.

The bill will now head to the House floor for a vote.