Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent

Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

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.’’

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.

But Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said that chilling effect is aimed at a very specific group of protesters.

Continue reading on Az Capitol Times

[Editor's note:  Every democrat in the state senate is against this bill.  It must be right over the target!  Sen. Kavanagh is right on the money when he says these are professional agent-provocateurs.  If you go to Craig's List or social media, you will have no problem finding ads for protesters. $50 an hour is common.  After the Inauguration, we got a report from a couple who were trying to find the right Metro train to get to the Inauguration site.  While waiting to ask a policeman, they listened to the conversation he was having with a young couple with a child. They were saying what a great deal they got. They found an ad on Craig's list and they got their entire trip to DC paid for + $50 an hour to protest.  They were asking the policeman where to find the Children's Pen - where people who came with kids could stash them while they were protesting. How quaint.

It is not enough to have RICO laws if they don't apply or the police don't enforce them against the type of behavior we saw at Berkeley and DC and other cities.  These are not organic protests.  Well orchestrated, well run, almost always result in violence against people or property.

Call your representatives if you agree with this bill and tell them to support this bill with their votes Bill #1142

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In the street of any town in the USA we are at the mercy and short term judgment of the police and the political structure in charge at the time. Meaning if in Tucson and you are a Republican and in any tussle with the left it will be you who are charged and assets seized. In Mesa it might be the other way around. Asset forfeiture cuts both ways depending upon who is administering the program locally. There have been disasters in the past where some of the Agencies of the Federal Government and local police have done horrid things to obtain and seize the assets of someone without trial or evidence they had done anything wrong at all. Our Constitution forbids taking property without payment for it or due process of law, which is a court trial or hearings of record. Amendment 5 

The Constitution also forbids the Governments, both state and federal, from passing "Bill of Attainer" and Ex post facto laws. The "Bill of Attainer" is also known as a bill of pains and penalties. Meaning such people were essentially punished, property seized and long term incarcerations, for what they were suspected of but not convicted in a court of law, "due process".

I have been threatened with arrest many times just for being at a demonstration in Los Angeles when illegal aliens attacked us the police warned that we would be arrested if we fought back in any way. Shows where the politics are in LA. The Communists and Activists on the other side of the street throwing frozen Pop cans and we are not even allowed to defend on threat of arrest and maybe they pass this law and seize my assets and I am broke for daring to attend. There must be better ways to punish the guilty without endangering our Constitution and the Rights our God has bestowed upon us.

YES YES YES

new laws have unintended consequences

For every action, there is a re-action.  It will be the same with this bill. There are unintended consequences with this bill as there is with every bill.  Using Joanne's well reasoned response and looking at the last line, we would never pass new laws as life changes. The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing but even they could not imagined the America we live in today.  We can sit back and let the anarchists take over or we can take action.  We all know the dirty little secret is Soros is behind this and I'm certain McCain has already alerted him to go after Kavanagh.  But something must be done BEFORE tragedy happens.  We have been a reactive society for decades and here we are in a middle of a gigantic mess.  Although I don't fully disagree with Joanne's warning of the consequences, I also see the warning of the consequences of doing nothing.  In the House maybe we should look to put in qualifying language. Maybe it's there, I have not read that bill but will today. At this juncture, I'm for taking the risk.  Event organizers will have to adjust how they hold events if this passes.

This bill is NOT specific to "Indivisible" OFA,or any Soros funded group.  It is specific to anyone who wants to exercise their unalienable right to free speech and assembly.

What other of YOUR Constitutional right and God given rights are you willing to give up for the sake of what might happen???  What are you willing to give up to hold an event?  Your house, your retirement??  Because that is what is at risk.  You are willing to let other people take that risk--are you willing to take it??

Remember the Patriot Act??

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.--- Ben Franklin

First I dont see the point in being rude. Second, this is not about speaking your mind OR peaceable assembly. Maybe you should show us the part of the constitution that says after you peaceably assemble, you can kill others there by your violent behavior or burn down that business because the 1st amendment gives you that right. It's just free speech.

Since you are so passionate, I presume you have called and expressed that but could you also suggest language that qualifies the issue?

I understand Joanne's point, but I think she is misunderstanding that this is not about 'asset forfeiture'.  It's about identifying violent protesters, especially those being paid to protest, aka George Soros.  It's a way to fight back legally against elements whose only purpose is to destroy a civilized society.

Yes, the anarchists are taking over our country. Even the most uninformed person I know knows that these are not spontaneous protests.  Yeah, it's just a matter of time that it gets to Phx.  As to the constitution, freedom of speech is a noble issue and the right one.  Freedom to destroy is not part of that.  As my daddy used to say, drastic measures require drastic action.  Or something like that. He also said McCarthy had it right. History has proven that, just not soon enough.

I always get a thrill up my leg when I hear democrats talk about constitutional rights.  It's like the ever present, "it's for the children."  Funny how voters keep falling for that.

     What happens when a conservative group has a rally or protest and it is penetrated by the anarchists?  Almost every new law takes away or restricts the freedoms we enjoy. Those who are so eager to see the assets  seized from rally organizers fail to see the double edged sword. The anarchists are trained to penetrate any large group that is protesting. They have penetrated Trump rallies as we all have observed. It would be wiser for protest group leaders to have their people separate from the hoodie and masked anarchists and point them out to police. The anarchists are trained to take off their masks and dark clothing as they melt back into the crowd. Why not have protest organizers meet the police before rallies and come to agreement on how to identify the anarchists? Would you want to see Conservative protest organizers have their properties seized? Think about it before you jump off the cliff!

The Democrats always have alternative objectives ... the Statist Collectivist ideology ... of a bigger more intrusive government!! That is their plan, that is their Motus Operandi, that is their "line in the sand" against the sovereign individual. A police state, bolstered by a "civilian federal police", will have grave consequences for the American citizenry. It can happen here if we assume it will solve a problem ... that the government CREATED.

That is exactly what will happen if this bill gets any farther.  

Have any of you read the bill or the Senate Fact Sheet??  or went to the ARS and actually read the current law and those sections referenced in the bill?

Here is the fact sheet

FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1142

riot; planning; participation; racketeering

Purpose
Adds rioting to the list of offenses that can be pursued under racketeering statutes. Expands
the definition of riot and specifies that to prove conspiracy to commit a riot, an overt act is not
required.

Background
Arizona’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statutes cover most
criminal acts that are profit-oriented. RICO statutes are used to prosecute activities of organized
criminals who extort money from legitimate individuals or businesses by violence or other forms
of threats or intimidation or conducting illegal enterprises.

RICO statutes provide prosecutors with options that are generally not available under other types of criminal statutes, such as forfeitures, including the ability to confiscate the fruits of criminal activity from those convicted of racketeering offenses.

Racketeering is any act that is chargeable or indictable under the laws of the state, punishable by imprisonment for more than a year and includes such acts as homicide, robbery or extortion if committed for financial gain (A.R.S. § 13-2301).

Statute also outlines what is considered illegal control of an enterprise through racketeering (A.R.S. § 13-2312) and provides a method for the state to seek civil remedies (A.R.S. § 13-2314).

Remedies include the payment of all costs and expenses for the prosecution and investigation of a racketeering offense and payment to the state or county general fund equal to any profit received through racketeering.

A person commits conspiracy when they act with the intention to promote or assist in an
illegal offense and:
1) agrees with at least one person to engage in conduct resulting in action to
further the offense (A.R.S. § 13-1003); and
2) one of the parties commits an overt act in furtherance of the offense.

However, statute stipulates an overt act is not always required when conspirators work together to commit a felony act such as arson or first-degree burglary.

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.

Provisions
1. Adds riot to the specified acts defined as racketeering.
2. Stipulates an overt act is not required as proof of a riot offense.

3. Expands the definition of riot to include immediate power of execution which results in
damage to the property of another person.

4. Makes technical and conforming changes.

5. Becomes effective on the general effective date.

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