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S.50

AN ACT RELATING TO RIOTS

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 901 is amended to read:

§ 901.  DUTIES OF OFFICERS

A district judge, sheriff, deputy sheriff or constable police chief, or the commissioner of the department of public safety, or their designees having notice or knowledge of the unlawful, tumultuous, or riotous assemblage of three or more persons within his or her jurisdiction, among or as near as he or she can safely come to such rioters, shall command them in the name of the state of Vermont immediately and peaceably to disperse.  If after such command such rioters do not disperse, such the law enforcement officer or magistrate and such other person as he or she commands to assist him or her shall apprehend and forthwith take them before a district court.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 902 is amended to read:

§ 902.  RIOTERS REFUSING TO DISPERSE

Persons so unlawfully and riotously assembled who, after proclamation made, do not immediately disperse, and persons unlawfully and riotously assembled to the number of three or more who do an unlawful act against a man’s person or property or against the public interest, and persons present at the place of an unlawful or riotous assemblage who, when commanded by a magistrate or law enforcement officer to assist him or her or to leave the place of such riotous assemblage, fails so to do, shall each be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $100.00, or both.

Sec. 3.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Families and friends have a substantial interest in organizing and attending funerals for deceased relatives.

(2)  The interest of families in being able to mourn privately and peacefully the loss of deceased relatives is violated when a funeral becomes the target of picketing and other public demonstrations.

(3)  Picketing related to a funeral causes emotional distress to the grieving families during a difficult and private time.

(4)  Full opportunity exists under the terms and provisions of this act to exercise freedom of speech and other constitutional rights other than during funerals and within one hour before a funeral.

Sec 4.  13 V.S.A. § 3771 is added to read:

§ 3771.  DISTURBING A FUNERAL SERVICE

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Funeral service” means the ceremonies, rituals, and memorial services held at a church, mortuary, cemetery, or home in connection with the burial or cremation of a dead person.

(2)  “Picketing” means a protest, demonstration or other similar activity directed at a funeral service.

(b)  No person shall disturb or attempt to disturb a funeral service by engaging in picketing within 100 feet of the service within one hour prior to and two hours following the publicly announced time of the commencement of the service.

(c)  A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than 30 days or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us