After facing backlash over how Los Angeles Police Department officials treated protesters during the first week of demonstrations following George Floyd’s death, city officials announced that they will not prosecute those arrested for curfew violations and failure to disperse.
This news comes after tension between Angelenos and police officials escalated amid protests for Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police. Video of his death sparked protests nationwide, including in areas across the Greater Los Angeles county, with demonstrators demanding justice for Floyd and an end to police brutality.
Although the demonstrations were mostly peaceful, there were vast lootings of stores that prompted many cities nationwide to mandate curfews to keep control and prevent additional destruction of property.
What Is a Peaceful Protest?
Free expression of your belief is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which generally protects free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom of assembly. Protesting is a type of assembly and as such protected by the Constitution. However, although you may have a right to peaceful protests in the U.S., “peaceful” being the operative word, there are limits.
Although the government may not deny your constitutional right to peacefully protest, they may regulate the time, place and manner in which the protest is conducted. This standard was further established by a 1989 Supreme Court decisions, Ward v. Rock Against Racism. This case challenged the constitutionality of New York City’s noise ordinance as applied to Rock Against Racism’s concerts in Central Park.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone that you care about has been arrested or charged with a crime that you did not commit, it is important that you immediately hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your legal rights and ensure that you have the best defense possible to avoid a criminal conviction.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.