- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A bill originally allowing authorities to use “any means necessary” to keep roadways clear during a protest but then reduced to a legislative study committee issue has cleared the Indiana Senate.

The amended measure now calls for a committee to examine how law enforcement should respond to mass protests.

The committee would research a “reasonable” response that provides protection to the public and ensures unobstructed streets without interfering with the right to lawful assembly.

The measure cleared the Senate 34-16. It now goes to the House for consideration.

Opponents question what there is to study, given laws already in existence. They say ensuring the public’s right to protest is essential.

Republican Sen. Jim Tomes says the First Amendment does not protect destruction of property or blocking roadways.

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