Congressman Introduces Bill Requiring Arrested Protesters to Pay for Police Overtime
Should protesters have to pay for police? Tell your Rep. how you feel.
Republican Representative Jim Banks responded to September’s climate protests by introducing a bill that would force arrested protestors to pay for police overtime.
Rep. Banks (R-Ind.) said "Hoosier taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for illegal protests — it is a violation of their 1st Amendment rights.”
Despite Banks’ statements, such a bill would erode First Amendment protections and make citizens less likely to protest.
Banks claims that this bill would not prohibit other demonstrations or protests, but historically speaking, many of our nation’s most important civil rights victories have come from protests that led to arrests. It seems likely that adding financial responsibility on top of the threat of arrest may prevent would-be-activists from participating in future protests.
Is this an intimidation tactic? If so, is it a violation of our First Amendment rights?
What do you think? Should activists ever be on the hook for police overtime?
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