Don't grant amnesty
to lawbreaking activists
I was alarmed by the recent news story in The Times-Dispatch regarding organizers and activists seeking to have charges dropped for all protesters arrested during the recent civil unrest. I encourage our elected and appointed officials, as well as our court system, to ignore such an all-encompassing request and weigh each case on its own right.
Peaceful protesting is a right that all of us have, one which is protected by our Constitution. We should support and encourage those who peacefully seek better conditions for systemically marginalized or oppressed segments of our society. However, inciting violence, attacking law enforcement officers, destroying public and private property, and looting (in other words, “stealing for personal gain”) is breaking the duly established laws of our community, state and country. To give such lawbreakers a pass sends a message that further encourages anarchic behavior. On the other hand, labeling those who were arrested as criminals sends a message to all citizens that our laws are to be applied equally, regardless of race or circumstances.