Arizona Lawmakers Want Harsher Penalties for Protesters

Print More

An Arizona legislative committee advanced a bill on Monday that would create a new crime called “violent or disorderly assembly” in response to recent protests against police and enact harsher penalties for certain crimes when committed during a violent or disorderly assembly, reports Arizona Central. The “violent or disorderly assembly” charge would be defined as damaging property or hurting someone while intending to riot or unlawfully assemble with at least seven other people and would be a class 6 felony. In addition to other changes, if signed into law, the bill would enact statutes such as a minimum of six months in jail for someone convicted of assaulting an officer, make criminal damage worth more than $250 but less than $1,000 a class 6 felony instead of a class 1 misdemeanor,  and make obstructing a public thoroughfare a class 6 felony versus a class 1 misdemeanor. Civil advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona have criticized the bill for being overly broad and potentially criminalizing the act of protesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *