(bigleaguepolitics)Liberal advocacy groups are sounding off in response to a plan from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to charge leftist rioters as a criminal street gang, demanding that the prosecutors drop riot charges against the ANTIFA-style “protestors.”
18 Left-wing militants have been charged with various counts of rioting, unlawful assembly, aggravated assault on a police officer, hindering prosecution, criminal damage and obstructing public thoroughfare. The arrests were made on October 18th, during a Black Lives Matter riot where a Phoenix police squad car was destroyed and rioters deployed smoke devices at law enforcement.
More than a dozen of the leftist rioters have been charged with gang-related crimes, which the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed following an investigation into the event.
Liberals protested outside of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, demanding prosecutor Allister Adel grant a free pass to the left-wing youths. ACLU and left-wing legal advocates assailed the prosecutions, including a Democrat candidate for county attorney who lost an election to Adel just weeks ago.
MCAO has provided a statement in response to the protests, defending the decision to charge the ANTIFA-style street rioters as criminal gangsters. They’re citing the militants’ use of textbook ANTIFA tactics, such as deploying incendiary devices, using umbrellas as weapons, and coordinating their attire in black.
On October 27, 2020, a Maricopa County Grand Jury issued indictments on fifteen individuals for incidents that occurred on October 17, 2020. The indictment is for several crimes, including conspiracy to commit assault, riot, and assisting a criminal street gang. The attached Grand Jury Indictment outlines all charges.
While some will attempt to describe these defendants as “protestors,” a grand jury found probable cause to *charge this group with crimes, including the planning of violence.
Ethical rules regarding trial publicity prohibit MCAO from trying this case in the media or saying anything that might influence a jury in these cases. Therefore, we cannot provide details about the evidence that was presented to the grand jury.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is responsible for felony criminal prosecution in Maricopa County. This office does not condone or support political prosecution of any kind and we encourage members of this community to lawfully exercise their first amendment rights regardless of the cause.
As County Attorney Adel has publicly stated numerous times, MCAO is committed to protecting the safety of everyone in this community, law enforcement and demonstrators alike. While we fully support the rights of everyone to exercise their first amendment rights, we will not allow violence to take over our streets.
A charge in a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
These youthful ANTIFA militants are about to find out that not every jurisdiction is as soft as Portland, Oregon.