In case you missed it last week, serious charges against hundreds of individuals who engaged in rioting last summer have been dropped by local and federal authorities.
First, the WSJ reports on the federal cases:
Federal prosecutors in Portland, Ore., have moved to dismiss almost half the cases they charged in connection with violence accompanying last year’s protests over racial injustice, as authorities grapple with how to tamp down politically motivated unrest that has arisen since then.
Of 96 cases the U.S. attorney’s office in Portland filed last year charging protesters with federal crimes, including assaulting federal officers, civil disorder, and failing to obey, prosecutors have dropped 47 of them, government documents show. Ten people have pleaded guilty to related charges and two were ordered detained pending trial. None have gone to trial.
The penalties levied so far against any federal defendants, most of whom were arrested in clashes around federal buildings in Portland including the courthouse, have largely consisted of community service, such as working in a food bank or encouraging people to vote.
Next, local prosecutors in cities across the country are refusing to follow through with consequences.
The vast majority of citations and charges against George Floyd protesters were ultimately dropped, dismissed or otherwise not filed, according to a Guardian analysis of law enforcement records and media reports in a dozen jurisdictions around the nation.
In most of a dozen jurisdictions examined, at least 90% of cases were dropped or dismissed. In some cities, like Dallas and Philadelphia, as many as 95% of citations were dropped or not prosecuted.
Democrat George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley is criticizing the move.
There is clearly a reluctance by many local officials to prosecute violent protesters. Cities like Atlanta have dropped charges against protesters. Most of the charges brought for violent protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd were dismissed. https://t.co/CFSNUTt69t— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 4, 2021
The riots during the summer of 2020 were the most expensive and damaging in U.S. history.