Rioters in Oklahoma Charged with Terrorism: This is Not 'Lawless' Seattle
Oklahoma County District Attorney sets 'get-tough approach'
Oklahoma authorities announced they were charging alleged rioters with terrorism and assault, vowing not to put up with the same "lawlessness" in "occupied" Seattle.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater charged several rioters with terrorism, rioting, and assault on May 30 and 31.
Prater warned, “This is not Seattle. We’re not putting up with this lawlessness here.”
His “get-tough approach” is aimed at deterring others from turning otherwise peaceful protests into war zones.
The charges are for alleged crimes, which included “five defendants identified as involved in the painting of murals in downtown Oklahoma City this week,” as The Oklahoman reported.
“They are accused in an incitement to riot charge of interfering with a police sergeant who was trying to take a homicide witness for an interview at police headquarters Tuesday.”
Police also reported that "several people were carrying flags that were identified as belonging to the following groups: Antifa, Soviet Union (communism), American Indian Movement, Anarcho-Communism (solid red), and the original Oklahoma flag … currently adopted by Oklahoma Socialists."
But the move was blasted by the ACLU saying it was the “harshest possible charges” against the alleged rioters.
One rioter was charged with reportedly burning a sheriff’s van and tried before attempting to set fire to a bail bonds business.
Four others were charged with rioting, with a further suspect charged with assault and battery of a police officer.
The rioter allegedly pushed a police officer while he was in the process of making an arrest.
A further five were charged with incitement to riot over a separate incident.
Prater defended the charges saying, “When you act like a terrorist, you will be treated like a terrorist.”
The Oklahoman reported that One defendant, 21-year-old Isael Antonio Ortiz, was charged in both incidents, and faces life in prison.
The law shows the protesters were not exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly but were committing crimes by destroying property and now face the consequences.
The news comes after Attorney General William Barr announced the creation of a Justice Department task force aimed at tackling far-left groups like Antifa.
In a memo released on Friday, the announcement outlined the formation of the DOJ task force that will end groups like Antifa and supporters of the "Boogaloo" movement.
The document also states that the task force will target "significant threats to the rule of law," and groups who commit "indefensible acts of violence."
NEW: AG Barr has created task force on violent anti-government extremists, to be led by @USAO_NJ and @USAttyNealyCox.— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) June 26, 2020
“Some pretend to profess a message of freedom and progress, but they are in fact forces of anarchy, destruction, and coercion.” pic.twitter.com/bfyB9Sacmn
"Amid peaceful demonstrations protected by the First Amendment, we have seen antigovernment extremists engaged in indefensible acts of violence designed to undermine public order," Barr wrote.
"Among other lawless conduct, these extremists have violently attacked police officers and other government officials, destroyed public and private property, and threatened innocent people."
Last week, Neon Nettle reported that Seattle's "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" (CHAZ) was using armed leftists to enforce its own "laws" without due process.
A six-block zone in the Washington city was seized by protesters after they drove police from the SPD's East Precinct.
A sealed perimeter controlled by a quasi-Border Patrol was set up by activists in the CHAZ area to keep police out.