Chilling Of Free Speech: Judge Sets $1M Bail For BLM Protesters
A judge in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, “set bail at $1 million for some of the protesters arrested for arson and riot-related charges early Monday morning following the police shooting of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz,” LancasterOnline reports.
The protesters are each charged with felony arson, riot and vandalism charges, among other protest-related charges. At least six of the eight people arrested Monday morning had bail set at $1 million by Magisterial District Judge Bruce Roth on Monday night, according to court documents. One of the protesters was not eligible for bail, and another person’s docket had not yet been updated.
An additional five people - four adults and one juvenile - were arrested on Monday after further investigation, police announced Tuesday. They are still waiting for a judge to set their bail.
The $1 million bail quickly came under fire from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and a local advocacy group, with Fetterman calling it “blatantly unconstitutional” and an infringement on the protesters’ Eighth Amendment right against excessive bail.
LancasterOnline reported that several protesters present at the time of the arrests said police appeared to be arresting people at random: “Local civil rights group leaders said at least some of the protesters they know were not engaging in arson or riot, with at least two of them serving as medics to help other protesters.”