St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State House of Representatives Minority Leader Rena Moran likened law enforcement officers to Ku Klux Klan members on Tuesday, as she argued against legislation that would increase penalties for protesters who block public roadways (video below).
“The facts are the facts about what happened, and why people were protesting,” Moran said in a video posted on the Minnesota Jobs Coalition’s Facebook page. “My worldview...is as an African American mother, who knows that her ancestors were lynched by those in authority.”
“They took off the hoods, and put on a uniform,” Moran asserted, inferring an offensive association between police and violent Klansmen.
“Now that’s the history!” she continued, giving a false history lesson. “Whether we like it or not, or how dark it is. That is the history for my community.”
House File 390 also seeks to increase penalties for people who block railways and airport access points, and was hotly debated in the same forum in 2017, the Minnesota Lawyer reported.
This year, opponents of the proposed legislation argued that the bill would impede on "free speech rights," and that already-illegal disruption was the only way that some groups were able to make their voices heard, the Minnesota Lawyer reported.
Representative Nick Zerwas diagreed.
“I think it’s a stunningly obtuse argument,” Zerwas said. “My intent is to discourage this highly dangerous and illegal behavior and to punish those that are not deterred.”
Zerwas also noted that protesters have placed citizens and law enforcement officers at substantial risk of harm by blocking transportation routes in the past.
“You have no right to park your Buick across four lanes of I-94,” he said, according to the Minnesota Lawyer. “If you believe you have that right, you are confused.”
You can watch Moran's allegations about police in the video below: