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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Replies to This Discussion

Tell me that this cannot be tweaked just a little bit to include ANYONE who plans a public event.....

Do you want this in the hands of Sheriff Penzone??? think about it.....

spot on

I have now read both the introduced version and the engrossed version of this bill. Nowhere do I see the words seize, seizure, forfeit of assets.  What did I miss?

Pat J --  13-2301 is only the first part of the full Statute.  13-2301 is definitions so you need to read farther down the statute.  The Senate Fact Sheet also details the consequences in the RICO Statute that are faced by anyone who is "deemed" to be plotting an event that COULD turn into a riot.... doesn't have to actually happen.

Here is the link to the fact sheet:    https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/447258

Thanks. I thought I read everything but I'll look at your link.

I think asset forfeiture is the spin she's trying to put on it.  Sorry to say, but I don't see it that way either.

I am sorry to say that with the "Forfeiture" part in there as it is I can not support it. That is the one aspect that the Liberals will use to destroy completely any protests or demonstrations that we would ever put on by constitutional conservatives. I have seen the "bad guys" attack retired men and women and send them to the hospital and those same bad guys ignored and their victims arrested and hauled off for defending themselves. It happens in those liberal bastions like Los Angeles and I have no doubt that Phoenix and Tucson PD have in the past been ordered to keep our side in line while our opposites are given free reign. It is called selective enforcement and most of the liberal controlled PD's practice it based on orders from the mayor or councils they work for.  In Phoenix recently a friend told me he was counter protesting the BLM people during one of their marches and the BLM walked the streets unimpeded while the counter protesters were pushed into a parking lot so they wouldn't get into trouble. Had they resisted the police on this they could have had assets seized based on this law if it were in force and they charged with riot.

Please read this. Sounds like it may be dead anyway. I would be happy to apply the criminal codes to what they are doing but to add anything to these forfeiture lists is a problem for me when it comes to the Constitution. I don't even mind taking whatever is within the states grasp in total after conviction of the crime but to seize it without due process in a court of law of some kind is just wrong

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ARIZONA STATE SENATE Fifty-Third Legislature, First Regular Session

FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1142 riot; planning; participation; racketeering

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Purpose

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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. 

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