If Arizona Republicans have their way, police will be able to arrest those involved in violence and seize the assets of those who plan and participate in violent riots like those seen on Inauguration Day and at Berkeley, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.
According to the Times:
SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.
But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.
Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, acknowledged that sometimes what’s planned as a peaceful demonstration can go south.
“When people want to express themselves as a group during a time of turmoil, during a time of controversy, during a time of high emotions, that’s exactly when people gather as a community,’’ he said. “Sometimes they yell, sometimes they scream, sometimes they do go too far.’’
Sometimes? As we’ve seen time and again, violent leftists have engaged in a number of actions that “go too far.”
The report added:
Quezada said, though, that everything that constitutes rioting already is a crime, ranging from assault to criminal damage, and those responsible can be individually prosecuted. He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.
No, it’s designed to chill the violence of the unhinged left.
“You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder,” said Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills. “A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists,’’ he added. “But this stuff is all planned.’’
And let’s not forget that a Project Veritas video released during the general election showed Democrat operatives discussing how they paid protesters to incite violence at GOP events.
But Sen. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, said the whole bill is based on a false premise of how disturbances happen.
“This idea that people are being paid to come out and do that?’’ she said. “I’m sorry, but I think that is fake news.’’
Sadly, this is what passes for intelligent debate on the left…
Fortunately, the measure passed 17-13 in the Senate and now goes to the House.
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