UPDATE May 31, 2020: Sacramento, CA is 1,956 miles from Minneapolis, MN, yet rioters in the Capitol City injured nine police officers at the Sacramento George Floyd riot Friday. Only two protesters were arrested.
Across the country, rioters took advantage of the crisis over the horrible death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Officer “Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested late Friday morning and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter four days after he pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Despite the arrest, rioters in big cites throughout the country destroyed property, looted businesses, and burned others down. Police were killed in Oakland; Portland, Oregon declared a state of emergency after thousands of rioters descended on Portland’s Justice Center; rioters marched and spilled over onto freeways in Atlanta, and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz mobilized the state’s National Guard.
The situation in Minneapolis “is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” said Gov. Walz.
At the same time Friday, the United States Supreme Court was deciding on an emergency appeal by the Thomas More Society, which was representing a California church fighting for religious rights in the face of ongoing gubernatorial restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Attorney Charles LiMandri with LiMandri & Jonna LLP, serving as Special Counsel to the Thomas More Society, responded to the late-night ruling:
“The disappointing ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court was a close 5-4 vote. It was based on the very high standards required for obtaining an emergency injunction on appeal of a case that is still ongoing in the lower courts. The majority opinion was simply a one line decision not to grant emergency relief at this time – without any analysis. However, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing on his own and with no other Justices joining him, authored a concurring opinion that should have little or no precedential value. This is not a decision on the merits of the case, there is still a split in the Circuit Courts of Appeal, and this case is far from over. We will proceed with our expedited appeal in the Ninth Circuit and, if necessary, seek a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the merits under a much more favorable standard. It is absolutely imperative that the U.S. Supreme Court considers these important issues on the merits – after the rulings in the lower courts become final. Although this interim ruling is disappointing, it’s clear to us that, without the filing and vigorous litigation of this lawsuit, churches would still be closed in California under Governor Newsom’s original shut-down orders.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in dissent that the restriction, “…discriminates against places of worship and in favor of comparable secular businesses. Such discrimination violates the First Amendment.” He noted that supermarkets, restaurants, hair salons, cannabis dispensaries, and other businesses are not being subjected to the same restrictions. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch joined the dissent, the Thomas More Society reported.
Meanwhile, back at the riots…
The Sacramento Bee reported:
“The arrests came after seven hours of protests and marching that began in Oak Park, where roughly 500 Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched across the 12th Avenue bridge over Highway 99 to Franklin Boulevard and then to a police station annex building. They laid siege to the annex for hours, standing face to face with dozens of officers in helmets and protective gear who kept them from entering the facility.”
“By midnight, the protesters had retreated back to the overpass, where about 75 continued to shout at the CHP officers and other law enforcement agencies keeping them from getting onto the highway.”
Politicians and public health department officials have no problem closing down beaches, parks, entertainment venues, recreation and sporting events, but not riots. Protesters at the State Capitol protesting California’s ongoing economic lockdown were treated as if they were rioters by Capitol police in full riot gear. Attending each of the protests were parents, kids, college students, small business owners, employees – all asking for the right to go back to work. Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered state police to keep the right-to-work crowds away from the building, by force if necessary.
More peaceful protesters were arrested at the right-to-work protests than at Friday’s riot at the Sacramento police station. Seven of the nine officers who were attacked by protestors Friday night, were Sacramento Police Department. The other two were California Highway Patrol. Rioters threw river rock, terra cotta pots, full potted plants with pots, concrete, bricks and urine at police.
The Supreme Court decision, coupled with riots seemingly allowed in Democrat-run cities across the country is a stark contrast in real injustice.
UPDATE Sunday May 31, 2020: Sacramento downtown and State Capitol rioters: Saturday, protesters at the Capitol repeatedly threw plastic water bottles, oranges and an egg that splattered on an officer’s chest, as perhaps 100 CHP officers stood in a semi-circle on the west steps, clad in riot gear, holding their batons in front of them, the Sacramento Bee reported.
On-the-ground reports by locals said it was Antifa and Black Lives Matter leading the riots. Many say BLM and Antifa are domestic terror groups. Looking at the violent, destructive riots across the country, it’s unimaginable to think otherwise.
“By evening, groups of young men were shattering glass doors and windows of buildings near the Capitol, hurling rocks and other large objects,” the Bee reported. “Notably, several protesters broke all four glass front doors of the Sacramento County Main Jail, apparently kicking the doors with their feet and hitting them with a skateboard as deputies inside the building looked on. Others sprayed anti-police graffiti on the jail walls, as well as other downtown buildings.”
This was a full blown riot justifying Capitol and City police in riot gear – not the peaceful right-to-work protests in early May by small business owners, out of work employees, moms, dads and kids, and college students, where 32 parents were arrested.
A friend reported: “looting Downtown and in our area included the Broadway/Riverside Target, Downtown Macy’s, Kicx shoes by DOCO, Navin’s men’s clothing store at the west end of DoCo, Metro/T-Mobile on K St, Sharif Jewelers, California Loan & Jewelry, Eyes on J Optometry, 7-Eleven and the BevMo store at 17th and J. That’s just what’s being reported so far, along with many broken windows, vandalism, defacing the mural depicting the city’s historical leaders in the tunnel to Old Sac, vandalizing the $8 Million “Piglet” art piece at DoCo and defacing state buildings.”