November 26, 2019
I’m not admitted to practice law in Arizona, but a google search tells me that the crime of “riot” in that state occurs “if, with two or more other persons acting together, [a] person recklessly uses force or violence or threatens to use force or violence, if such threat is accompanied by immediate power of execution, which disturbs the public peace.”
I mention this because, last August, August 14, a group of around 20 people stood outside the Pima County Adult Detention Complex, making noise. They sang, they chanted, they banged drums, they held up banners.
Then they packed up their things and left. In normal times, that would have been the end of things.
These are not normal times.
A mile away from the facility, police arrested 12 of the protesters and charged them with “riot.” All 12 now face the possibility of two years in prison if convicted.
Under the circumstances, one has to wonder if the arrests had more to do with squelching public protest than protecting public peace.