Turns out, the 212 anti-fascist and Black-Bloc anarchist protesters arrested for felony rioting during President Trump’s inauguration could face a lot more than the 10 years in prison and $25,000 fine they were originally looking at.
According to Al Jazeera, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia added a few more charges to the mix on April 27, including conspiracy to riot, urging to riot, and destruction property – charges that, if they stick, could add several decades to the original potential sentence.
Raw Story laments that the seemingly draconian sentences set a “dangerous precedent” that could have a “chilling effect on participation in future rallies,” but both their coverage and the original Al Jazeera report mostly leaves out the fact that these mostly-masked, unauthorized protesters pulled bricks from the streets to hurl at police, smashed windows, and even torched a limousine.
— Blue Lives Matter (@bluelivesmtr) January 20, 2017
The crimes should vary depending on the involvement of each individual, of course, but throwing a brick at someone would land most ordinary people a charge of attempted-murder, at best.
Al Jazeera interviewed 23-year-old Olivia Alsip, who is having to travel back and forth from her Chicago home for court hearings on the case. The coverage doesn’t make clear if Alsip is included, but more than 130 defendants have made ‘Points of Unity’ pacts, eschewing deals or cooperating with prosecutors to fight the charges in total.
Which seems to imply they believe they aren’t guilty of anything at all.
“I’m pretty shocked by the impact it’s had on my personal life,” Alsip laments. “It seems that innocent until proven guilty is a falsehood – all the way from the prosecution and police to the people who had previously supported me in my activism. It’s hanging over my head the entire time, which makes it really challenging. It hinders your ability to plan your life.”
Decades in prison may seem like a harsh punishment to most, and maybe it is, but if the roles were reversed and, say, the KKK were tossing bricks at police officers (some of whom would inevitably be black), wouldn’t most normal people expect THEM to receive … decades in prison?
To try and combat the rise in violent protests from the Left, several states, including Tennessee, Minnesota, Georgia, and Missouri, have introduced legislation calling for increased penalties for demonstrating on private property and blocking traffic, legislation that the ACLU is fighting as “unconstitutional” on all fronts.
“It’s already against the law to block a freeway or access to an airport or a commuter train,” Minnesota State Rep Nick Zerwas, who coauthored one such bill, told Al Jazeera. “I think the criticisms are just misdirected. You don’t have a first amendment to pull your car perpendicular in the freeway in the middle of a protest, for instance.”
Despite the obvious actions of the violent protesters, some have even filed a class action lawsuit against the police alleging false arrests and excessive use of force.
Because one should apparently handle brick-tossing with kid-gloves.
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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