Arizona lawmakers passed a bill this week that empowers law enforcement with the authority to deliver what some have called “an eye for an eye” justice to those malevolent souls who choose to riot like maniacs.
Known as SB 1142, the bill “expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting,” as reported by the Arizona Capitol Times. The bill also “redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.”
This means that if someone were to be arrested causing property damage during a riot, prosecutors could seize the individual’s own property to recoup the damages.
But it got even better. Because of the nature of the new law, would-be rioters could be arrested for simply planning a riot.
“Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?” Republican Sen. John Kavanagh asked rhetorically. “Do you really want to wait until people are injuring each other, throwing Molotov cocktails, picking up barricades and smashing them through businesses in downtown Phoenix?”
“You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder,” Kavanaugh added. “A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists. But this stuff is all planned.”
The Senate approved the bill Wednesday on a 17-13 party line vote, the Capitol Times reported. It now heads to the state House for consideration.
You can see brief coverage of the proposed law here:
Arizona senate approves law that would let the state seize assets from those participating in protests that turn into riots pic.twitter.com/xr5soKBElY
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) February 23, 2017
There may be one problem with the bill. According to the Phoenix New Times, critics claimed that under SB 1142, those who planned a riot could also be held liable for any damages caused by the disturbance — even if they were not directly responsible for the damage itself.
“The person hits the wall with his hand, damages sheet rock — and (organizers) are potentially liable for bringing everybody there,” former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley told the New Times, as an example. “That’s just wrong. It’s insane.”
Is it really, though? When did it become OK to either plan or participate in a riot? Why not just protest peacefully like normal human beings?
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H/T BizPac Review