TN lawmakers pass bill to combat flash mob violence

TN lawmakers pass bill to combat flash mob violence

April 16th, 2014 by The Tennessean in Local - Breaking News

A flash mob celebrates St. Patrick's Day in The Streets of Indian Lake in Hendersonville in this 2012 file photo.

Photo by The Tennessean /Times Free Press.

State lawmakers kicked off what could be their last day of the 2014 session by approving legislation meant to combat aggressive flash mobbing.

The House of Representatives voted 63-31 to create a new offense of "aggravated vandalism" that could be applied to the organizers of flash mobs that go awry. The legislation clearly unnerved some members, including state Rep. Vince Dean, an East Ridge Republican who copped to having flash mobbed just last weekend with his church.

The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, assured lawmakers that dancing flash mobs would not be criminalized. Nor would protests such as the Moral Monday crowd that gathered a couple of days ago inside the state Capitol.

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