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In a country where violent left-wing rioters are frequently released with their charges dismissed, one might perhaps expect non-violent anti-mask protesters to be let off the hook. But one would probably be wrong to expect as such.
Over in the Salt Lake City area, local authorities are investigating possible criminal charges against one group of anti-mask protesters for the apparently unforgivably severe crime of interrupting a school district board meeting.
“Police are looking at potential criminal charges against the most aggressive of the anti-mask protesters who forced an early end to the Granite School Board meeting on Tuesday night,” The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed Wednesday.
While the protesters’ “aggressive” behavior didn’t include vandalism, arson or assaulting the police, it did include parents pointing their fingers and yelling at school officials, and grabbing/using a podium microphone.
Watch some of the “aggressive” behavior below:
“[A] number of aggressive individuals came to the front and started grabbing the equipment and shouting at the board members directly, even coming up on to the stand and accosting board members,” district spokesman Ben Horsley complained to the Tribune.
According to Deseret News, the hubbub began after the Granite Board of Education refused to allow one of the protesters to address the board.
“When the woman rushed to the lectern, she was not permitted to speak because she had not signed up for citizen participation time, said Granite School Board President Karyn Winder,” the outlet reported.
“The crowd rose to its feet in protest and one man shouted: ‘Remember this day! Remember this day!’ Others chanted: ‘No more masks. No more masks. No more masks,'” its report continued.
Of the three speakers who had signed up, one, Monica Wilbur, reportedly used her time to speak specifically about the district’s mask mandate.
“One size does not fit all, and adults who have higher risks should not project their fears or expect the youth to carry the burden of those fears. The burden of proof should be on the district, not on the parents. Not only is there no proof that masks are the solution, there’s not even proof that it’s a good trade-off,” she said.
She was the only everyday citizen allowed to speak. The other two who spoke were officials: Granite Education Association Executive director Star Orullian, and state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, a pro-Biden Democrat:
Waiting for FLOTUS! pic.twitter.com/4qkz4fpmHU
— Sen. Kathleen Riebe (@Mskriebe) May 5, 2021
That the senator was allowed to speak annoyed the unnamed woman who was denied a speaking opportunity.
“You let a senator come up here and speak in the name of my children who you guys are abusing? Are you serious?” she reportedly said.
The response to the protest has been seemingly universally negative, with “leaders, educators, parents” all slamming the so-called “mob.”
“The way those parents or patrons or strangers behaved last night on Teacher Appreciation Day … It’s one thing to be upset about the mask, but it’s something else entirely to behave like an unruly mob,” one teacher said to station KSTU.
“We do not endorse or sanction those actions that lead to a mob rule mentality,” Utah Parents United spokeswoman Corrine Johnson reportedly added.
Horsley meanwhile confirmed that the mask mandate isn’t going away.
“The order on the mask mandate was just re-upped just yesterday through the end of the school year. It was the only portion of public health orders to be re-upped,” he said.
The fierce backlash against the non-violent protesters in Utah comes during the same week that word emerged that the majority of violent rioters who were arrested last year during violent Black Lives Matter riots in Portland, Oregon, have had their charges dropped.
“Between May 25 and Oct. 7, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon filed federal charges against 97 people connected to the Portland unrest. Since then 58 of those cases have either been dismissed outright or are on track for dismissal through a deferred resolution agreement. Thirty-two cases are still pending, with many likely to also end in dismissal according to sources. Seven people have entered guilty pleas,” Fox News reported.
Something similar happened in Salt Lake City.
“The protesters arrested last month for not leaving when police tried to forcibly end a massive — and, at times, violent — rally in Utah’s capital will not face any criminal charges, according to a decision from the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office,” the Tribune reported last June.
See scenes from the so-called “protest” below:
Salt Lake City crowd overturns a police cruiser.
— Johnny Akzam (@JohnnyAkzam) May 30, 2020
— Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) May 30, 2020
— Jen B (@Jb84107) May 30, 2020
Protest in Salt Lake City no longer peaceful. pic.twitter.com/4yoBEFNpVV
— Heidi Hatch KUTV (@tvheidihatch) May 30, 2020
To be fair, not every rioter had their charges dropped. After a group of rioters vandalized the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, their charges were instead reduced, according to Deseret.
It’s not clear whether the non-violent anti-mask protesters from Tuesday will also have their charges either reduced or dropped.
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