AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
Late last month, South Pasadena, California, became the latest city to announce that it would issue lucrative payouts to Black Lives Matter protestors who are accusing the police department of not “protecting” them during protests in 2020 – when they were ironically calling for defunding the police. But while liberal city governments are obediently handing over millions of taxpayer dollars to Marxist “mostly peaceful” demonstrators, conservative demonstrators have been the target of relentless persecution from Democrat elected officials and even federal law enforcement agencies.
South Pasadena officials said on April 27 that they will pay $500,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by two leaders of BLM South Pasadena. The lawsuit alleges that, while the protestors were calling for the elimination of the city’s police department, police officers present failed to protect the protestors from counter-demonstrators, further asserting that officers were “hostile” and “dismissive.”
In March, New York City also agreed to pay hundreds of BLM marchers more than $20,000 each to settle another lawsuit – potentially costing the city up to $6 million. In legal filings, BLM leaders allege that police “boxed in, pepper sprayed, and zip-tied 300 protestors” during a June 2020 demonstration that notably occurred in the middle of weeks of rioting and looting that destroyed dozens of businesses throughout the city.
A few weeks later, Philadelphia announced a $9.25 million settlement with another 343 BLM protesters. On June 1, 2020, these protesters swarmed the interstate, shutting down traffic and creating a significant public safety hazard. In a lawsuit, the protesters asserted that the police were too “aggressive” in moving them off the interstate and out of the city.
The Philadelphia city government will also provide over $500,000 in “mental health counseling” for residents who were “traumatized” by police activities in defense of their communities.
The snowball effect continued a few days after Philadelphia’s protestor payout when a Colorado jury also awarded $14 million to BLM protestors who clashed with police in Denver in 2020.
In all of these cases, the “protests” in question often devolved into riots, and instances of protestor-on-protestor and protestor-on-police violence were common.
In Manhattan alone, BLM “protestors” caused tens of millions of dollars in damage – a fact that calls into question the protestors’ portrayal of themselves as innocent victims of police brutality. Nationwide, the BLM “demonstrations” led to $2 billion in damage and 18 deaths – yet it is now the supposedly “peaceful” protestors who are receiving payouts.
Meanwhile, as Democrats at the local level are busy issuing handouts to the “protestors” who looted, sacked, and burned their communities, Democrats and leftist bureaucrats in the federal government are targeting conservatives for engaging in legitimate nonviolent protests.
There is no clearer example of this than pro-life activist Mark Houck. In 2021, Houck, a father of seven, was praying outside an abortion clinic when a pro-abortion activist began shouting obscenities in the face of Houck’s 12-year-old son.
In response, Houck shoved the man to the ground and left. After multiple Democrat prosecutors declined to file charges, the Biden Department of Justice launched a federal investigation into Houck, culminating in a dawn FBI raid of his Philadelphia home last September, where more than 20 fully-armed agents arrested Houck in front of his family.
After a judge explicitly told prosecutors that they had no case, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty. But the message from the Biden administration was clear: if you publicly express your pro-life views, the FBI may try to destroy your life.
While Biden’s FBI is busy targeting pro-life activists, they have also failed to deliver even one conviction in the dozens of attacks on crisis pregnancy centers throughout the country in recent months. Churches have also been vandalized with anti-religious graffiti in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, with no concern from Biden’s Department of Justice.
In several cases, a radical pro-abortion organization called “Jane’s Revenge” has even claimed credit for the attacks – yet the FBI has offered no indication that they intend to pursue any sort of investigation into the group or its leaders.
The left’s double standard of justice has also been laid bare through the treatment of individuals involved in the January 6 Capitol riot. Although some January 6 protestors undoubtedly broke the law, it is impossible to ignore the discrepancy in the treatment of BLM protestors, who are now receiving payouts from city governments, and January 6 protestors, who were often held in solitary confinement for months, denied bail, and have been the target of unending media scrutiny.
House Republicans have already made moves to further expose the left’s hypocrisy through the creation of a select committee on the weaponization of the federal government. Without serious reforms and the de-politicization of the justice system generally, it is likely that Americans’ confidence in the principle of equality under the law will continue to falter.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.
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