In 2015, in an outburst of pure insanity, the National Fraternal Order of Police, a union representing over 300,000 officers, called for cops to be included under Congress’s hate crimes statute. This demand has since materialized into multiple acts of “Blue Lives Matter” laws, and TFTP has reported on their use multiple times. Never, however, have we seen hate crime legislation used to prosecute the free speech of an innocent person — until now.
A 19-year-old woman in Utah has been charged with a hate crime after she allegedly stomped on a “back the blue” sign at a gas station. There was no victim and no one had been harmed, yet a Garfield County police officer claimed the young woman’s actions made him fear for his life and therefore pushed to have her charged with a hate crime.
According to the arrest affidavit, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, the Garfield County police officer was conducting a traffic stop for speeding at a gas station when the officer saw a woman “stomping on a ‘Back the Blue’ sign next to where the traffic stop was conducted, crumble it up in a destructive manner and throw it into a trash can all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me.”
The “smirking” caused the cop to fear for his safety and he moved to detain and subsequently arrest the woman for her completely legal act.
The officer writes they asked the woman where she had gotten the sign, and she stated it was her mother’s. According to the affidavit, the officer told the woman that the local Sheriff’s Office produced those specific signs and that they believed “she had acquired it in our community.”
After reading the woman her Miranda rights, the officer stated she gave “inconsistent stories” about where she found the sign, eventually stating she found it on the ground.
“Due to [the woman] destroying property that did not belong to her in a manner to attempt to intimidate law enforcement, I placed her under arrest,” the affidavit says.
Because the woman “smirked in an intimidating manner,” her actions consisted of a hate crime according to the arrest affidavit — “the demeanor displayed by [the woman] in attempts to intimidate law enforcement while destroying a ‘Pro Law Enforcement’ sign.”
The cop needs the public to believe the smirking teen made him fear for his life as this is what’s required for a hate crime to take place. According to the legislation, a person commits a hate crime if that person acts “with the intent to intimidate or terrorize another person or with reason to believe that his action would intimidate or terrorize that person.”
“Intimidate or terrorize” means an act which causes the person to fear for his physical safety or damages the property of that person or another. The act must be accompanied with the intent to cause or has the effect of causing a person to reasonably fear to freely exercise or enjoy any right secured by the Constitution or laws of the state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
According to this officer, he feared for his physical safety so the teen’s act of free exercise of speech was no longer protected and therefore, she has committed a hate crime. If a 19-year-old woman crumbling up a sign causes you to fear for your safety or is considered an act of terror by you, you have no business being in law enforcement and are a danger to society while entrusted with arrest powers and a gun. Nevertheless, the state does not see it this way, and the woman’s prosecution is underway.
Because the cop was offended by this woman’s act of free speech, she now faces the possibility of spending an entire year of her life in a cage for a “hate crime” that never took place. This is the justice system in the land of the free.