GOP Rep. to Introduce Bill to Force Arrested Protesters to Pay Police Overtime

U.S. Capitol Police keep traffic open as climate activists participate in a 'Shut Down DC' protest to urge action on the climate crisis, on Independence Avenue near Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

GOP Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) announced his intention to introduce a bill that would force arrested protesters to pay for police overtime.

The move follows the climate activists’ “Shut Down D.C.” protest, which featured chanting, twerking activists unlawfully blocking traffic during morning rush hour.

Banks announced on Twitter Monday his intention to introduce legislation that “would force protesters arrested at demonstrations in D.C. to pay for police overtime and other fees related to the action.”

“Under my bill, a person will be responsible for public safety response costs incurred by the District of Columbia’s response to a demonstration if, in connection with the demonstration, the person is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense,” he explained.

“Washington, D.C. collects over $4 billion in federal funding. Hoosier taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for illegal protests – it is a violation of their 1st Amendment rights,” he continued, clarifying that his bill would not halt National Mall protests and only apply to “illegal protesters who are arrested”:

His proposal follows the “Shut Down D.C.” protest, which featured a number of activists blocking busy intersections in D.C. with props – such as a sailboat and dumpster – and their own bodies. One clip shows an activist dancing seductively in front of a vehicle proclaiming, “We’re here for climate justice, honey. Are you going to join?” followed by a brief moment of twerking:

Metropolitan Police Department told Breitbart News that “all demonstration participants are allowed to exercise their First Amendment Right as long as no crime is being committed.” However, MPD’s Office of Communications’ Deputy Director Kristen Metzger added that it is unlawful to “intentionally” block traffic.

“However, intentionally blocking traffic is not lawful activity,” Metzger said.“MPD’s Special Operations Division is equipped to handle assemblies of any stature and will respond as necessary to ensure the safety of the protestors and the general public.”

“MPD advises the public to remain vigilant and if you see something, say something by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411,” she added.

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