Bill to protecting LEOs & county officials from online harassment passed

Mike Seals - April 14, 2021 10:43 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate voted Wednesday to strengthen penalties against those who purposely try to bring harm to law enforcement officers and county officials online. House Bill 1643, by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, prohibits the publishing of identifying information of such individuals used to threaten, intimidate, harass, or stalk them.

“In recent years, we’ve seen our law enforcement community come under attack by misguided anger and hatred. These brave men and women are willing to sacrifice their health, and even their lives, to uphold the law and keep our communities safe. Just as they protect us, we will protect them and their families, which involves keeping their personal information from being maliciously spread on the internet,” Bullard said. “This bill also protects county officials, who have become victims of this same type of dangerous online behavior. I’m grateful for my legislative colleagues for standing up for what’s right, and anxious to get this important law on the books.”

Under HB 1643, such crimes would be a misdemeanor and offenders would face up to six months in the county jail, a fine up to $1,000 or both. Punishment for second and subsequent offenses would include up to one year in the county jail, a fine not to exceed $2,000, or both. The measure would also allow elected county officials and peace officers to request that the county assessor not publicize their personal information online.

Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, is the principal House author of the measure, which now goes to the governor for his final approval.

 

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