CLAIM: The Capital Journal of South Dakota reports that the state’s riot boosting law “is an attempt by (Governor) Noem to outlaw many forms of Pipeline protest,” while also noting that groups opposed to the law say it is a threat to free speech.
The riot boosting law does not outlaw forms of protest. Instead, it imposes new penalties for illegal activity and for supporting illegal activity.
As previously noted, the new law does not threaten free speech or create new illegal forms of protest. Additionally, the language in Senate Bill 189 is clear on the violent behavior the law seeks to address:
In addition to any other liability or criminal penalty under law, a person is liable for riot boosting, jointly and severally with any other person, to the state or a political subdivision in an action for damages if the person:
(1) Participates in any riot and directs, advises, encourages, or solicits any other person participating in the riot to acts of force or violence;
(2) Does not personally participate in any riot but directs, advises, encourages, or solicits other persons participating in the riot to acts of force or violence; or
(3) Upon the direction, advice, encouragement, or solicitation of any other person, uses force or violence, or makes any threat to use force or violence, if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by three or more persons, acting together and without authority of law.