North Dakota lawmaker introduces legislation that would protect drivers who hit and kill protesters in streets
A protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, November 15, 2016

(Credit: Reuters/Stephanie Keith)

Following a tenuous stand down near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, in which protestors were successfully able to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Republican lawmakers in North Dakota designed legislation introduced last week that would make public demonstrations in the state more dangerous. A law would provide an exemption for drivers who unintentionally injure or kill a pedestrian obstructing traffic on a road or highway.

North Dakota state Rep. Keith Kempenich, a Republican lawmaker friendly with the oil industry, conceded the bill was a response…