Protests

Bloomington to Bill Protesters for Police Presence at 'Black Lives Matter' Demonstration in Mall of America

|

@holka/Flickr

On December 20, several thousand people gathered at Bloomington, Minnesota's Mall of America to protest recent police misconduct and brutality. Their efforts were, technically, criminal: Mall of America has long forbidden demonstrations within the shopping mega-center and, prior to the event, Bloomington Police urged protesters to choose another venue. They refused. For two hours, the peaceful but unlawful assembly marched through Mall of America with protest chants and #BlackLivesMatter signs. 

Police mostly didn't interfere with the protest but stood by to ensure "the safety and security of MOA guests, tenants, and demonstration participants," according to a city press release. Twenty-five individuals were arrested for trespassing. No injuries or damage to mall property were reported. 

To me, it seems like the story should end here. Yes, Mall of America is private property—albeit private property heavily subsidized by the government—and, as such, demonstrators were trespassing. Organizers said they chose to demonstrate at the mall in spite of this because it was the most high-profile location in the area. That's a choice they made and, as with many other protests, high visibility may come with some tradeoffs—namely, that demonstrators could face arrest. 

But if Bloomington Police were going to arrest protesters, during the event was the time to do so. Instead, the city let the event go down largely unfettered but now plans to bill protest organizers for the ample police presence—including riot cops, state troopers, Bloomington officers working overtime, and officers called in from other cities—at the mall.

Last week, Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson said authorities are working to identify the demonstration's "ringleaders", who may face charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing, and/or inciting a riot. They will also face "staggering" restitution charges, she said. This money would not, however, go to Mall of America for the potential business losses it incurred. Rather, it would go to the city to cover the cost of policing the event. 

That's a hell of a way to handle "criminal justice", no? Private property owners lose. Peaceful demonstrators lose. But the city makes money at everyone's expense!

In a letter to Johnson and Mall of America administrators, a group of clergy involved with the protest question why such a large security force was needed anyway. "We were shocked and dismayed to see that the Mall of America did not believe the peaceful intentions of the peaceful gathering," states the letter.

"In early December, over 7000 people filled the same Rotunda in memory of one who died too soon to cancer, to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Apparently there was no strong police presence, they were not met with police in riot gear, and no extra law enforcement officials (were) called in. We, too, gathered to remember untimely deaths of unarmed black men and boys and to raise awareness of police brutality." 

The Mall of America has a long history of legal controversy concerning protests there. In the 1990s, a Minnesota court found that because of the mall's reliance on substantial public subsidies, it was "born of a union with government" and could only place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on protests, not ban them all together. But the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision in 1998. 

Past Mall of America protesters have faced arrest, notes the Minnesota StarTribune, "but this appears to be the first time restitution is being sought from protesters." Since the city's announcement about the charges, local activists have been sharing outrage and information on Twitter with the hashtag #chargemetoo.

NEXT: Nashville Police Responded Peacefully to Peaceful Protesters, and That Made Some Folks Upset

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sure the mall should be billing the protest leaders, but the city? The security expenses would probably have been the same if the demonstration was in a public street or park.

    “In early December, over 7000 people filled the same Rotunda in memory of one who died too soon to cancer, to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Apparently there was no strong police presence, they were not met with police in riot gear, and no extra law enforcement officials (were) called in.”

    Further proof that Peak Retard is impossible. I bet that if fundraisers for medical research had a history of bringing arson and looting in their wake, there would be a police presence at those fundraisers!

    1. And do demonstrators and protestors have a history of bringing arson and looting in their wake?

      [citation needed]

      Protests and demonstrations which leave no damage in their wake probably also don’t make the news.

      Stop falling for the party line. Think outside the party line once in a while. Consider how much other news the media get correct before you rely on them in the areas which confirm your bias.

      1. How to increase public approval for the police state:

        http://www.policestateusa.com/…..ice-state/

      2. Should I look for footage of burning and booted buildings, and the (black-owned) bakery which is raising funds for repair after the riots?

        Are these the kinds of stories you’re saying the news got wrong?

        1. booted=looted

        2. I’m saying you are unlikely to find much news coverage of boring protests and demonstrations.

          1. Define “boring.” No looting or arson?

            1. For this discussion, yes. And for this discussion, if you can’t figure that out on your own, you have no business being in the discussion.

              1. Boring demonstration:

                http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1308…..cebook.jpg

        3. You’re missing his point Eddie.

    2. “The security expenses would probably have been the same if the demonstration was in a public street or park.”

      Did agitators for cancer research ever set fire to anything?

        1. Canadian Cancer Society Research Information Outreach Team – RIOT.

          They make cancer FUN!

      1. Dude, this is Minnesota. Minnesotans won’t even cut in front of you in line, much less toss a Molotov cocktail through your window.

        Well, unless their hockey team loses, anyway.

    3. To me, its an open (and interesting) question, kind of a chicken and egg thing, about violent protests:

      Would the protests have turned violent if they weren’t met with the threat of violence, in the form of a militarized/dehumanized riot police presence?

      Some protests are just riots waiting to happen, regardless. But not all, and not all that turn violent, either.

      1. I’m not condoning violence at protests, but if they* felt provoked by cops, why not attack the cops? That would have been dumb, IMHO, but it would make a sort of weird sense.

        But why attack businesses, inc. black-owned businesses? Are they just taking their anger out on the innocent because they’re too chicken to confront the cops?

        *”they” = violent minority of protesters. I know most protesters didn’t burn or loot.

        1. John Dillinger died for you.

      2. “Would the protests have turned violent if they weren’t met with the threat of violence, in the form of a militarized/dehumanized riot police presence?”

        What “protests” desire more than anything else is an audience: and if the audience includes a symbolic target of their ire, or people whom are apparently not sympathetic to their cause, then that’s when the violence emerges

        I believe that part of it is done for themselves/narscissitic mob self-justification, but that most of the rioting/looting is for consumption by an imagined ‘other’

        If you take away the ‘security’, IOW, it tends to reduce the potential for violence.

        The problem is that the physical location of their protests can themselves become their imagined ‘oppressor’.

        Capitalism, etc.

        also, Malls have insurance costs.

      3. I really don’t know because all I know is what I read in the news, but I imagine that the protesters and rioters/looters are largely separate groups with the rioters and looters being largely opportunists looking for an excuse to do some looting. I’m sure some of the destruction is down to bottled up impotent rage, but I think most of it is just assholes taking advantage of the situation.

        1. Just because they’re separate groups, the violent crowd sometimes tags along with the nonviolent crowd, which is reason enough for the police to be there.

          1. just because = even though

          2. The police presence is probably appropriate. Billing the protest organizers is more what I was addressing.

        2. That’s ok. Just shoot them all and let God sort ’em out. I’m pretty sick of the whole lot of them.

  2. “We were shocked and dismayed to see that the Mall of America did not believe the peaceful intentions of the peaceful gathering,” states the letter.

    Lol. Just lol. I’m not trying to lay blame on the actual, honest-to-goodness protestors in Ferguson, but it’s not like these demonstrations haven’t, you know, attracted the looting and arson type.

    Well, I guess they still did attract looters – the uniformed variety that is.

  3. We used to be able to point to the (apocryphal?) practice of the ChiComs of billing the family of an executed person for the cost of the bullets as an example of how horrible their totalitarian state was.

    Not anymore, I guess.

  4. “local activists have been sharing outrage and information on Twitter with the hashtag #chargemetoo.”

    Making it easier to identify those that will be billed?!

  5. If they had told the protesters they would be billing them for the additional police presence, would the protesters have changed their minds about the trespass?

    My guess is no.

    If the Mall of America had tried to cope with the trespass with its own security force, would the added expense and the lost revenue from the protesters’ interference in the mall’s operation represent a tort that they could sue for?

    Possibly.

    Had the protesters found a private landowner who would permit their demonstration and had peacably marched on that land while to riot police fingered their batons menacingly, would the cops have a leg to stand on?

    No.

    By deciding to trespass, the protesters made themselves vulnerable to be buttfucked by the state. I refuse to be outraged by this. I have 0 sympathy for both the trespassers and the cops. The fact that the protesters were so blinded by emotion that they handed the cops a weapon to use against them is regrettable. It’s like getting outraged that a bull gores someone drunkenly staggering in the bull’s pasture.

    1. By committing trespass, the protestors opened themselves up to be arrested and prosecuted for trespass. They didn’t open themselves up to be butt fucked in any way the state chooses to do so.

      1. By committing trespass, the protestors opened themselves up to be arrested and prosecuted for trespass. They didn’t open themselves up to be butt fucked in any way the state chooses to do so.

        I think that’s a very nice summary of why this stinks.

        1. Do you guys have 0 understanding how criminal justice works in the US?

          The laws are entirely written to allow for the accused to be buttfucked.

          I’d bet that if we were to consult with an attorney knowledgable about the laws governing the police in Minnesotta, the law permits the cops to do exactly what it is going to do.

          Moreover, have either of you watched what happens in criminal courts for people accused of crimes? If the judge, the ADA, or even the cops submitting the original complaint to the magistrate desire, all kinds of buttfuckery can be legally visited upon the accused.

          1. Er, I think they are just saying it’s wrong, not illegal. In fact, that it’s all legal is part of the outrage.

            1. In fact, that it’s all legal is part of the outrage.

              All right Bo.

              What is the “it” in your previous post?

              What are all the outrages that “it” is a part of? Please be specific.

              1. The practices John and EB criticize here.

                1. That is not a responsive answer Bo.

                  Try again. What is “it”? What are the other outrages that it is combined with in this matter?

                  1. I’m not sure if you’re this dense or just still stung and spoiling for an argument with me.

                    EB and John and others here are criticizing the City Attorney’s seeking criminal charges and restitution punishments for the protesters. They say it’s wrong though legally permissible.

                    1. Sigh, Bo, I’ll explain:

                      You have a maddening habit of writing vaguely. You use pronouns promiscuously like they were slutty whores in GTA IV.

                      I know what EB and John are saying. What you are saying, on the other hand, is difficult to parse.

                      It is one of the things that gets you into trouble; if you wrote more precisely and explicitly stated your argument instead of hoping that it would be implicitly transmitted, you would be far more likely to catch your stupider comments before you hit post. Thus saving you from the embarrassment of having to defend a stupid comments, like those arguments you and I have had where I’ve curb-stomped you and you have been reduced to proclaiming through a bloody maw of shattered teeth that you have won a great victory as if you were the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    2. If they did trespass and that trespass cost the owners of the MOA money, the remedy for that is either the MOA suing the protestors in civil court or a judge, after they have been lawfully convicted of trespass, ordering the protestors to make restitution as part of their sentence. The solution is not for the State to just send them a bill.

  6. Suppose for a minute that the entire protest was a crime and the organizers are guilty of conspiracy to commit that crime. Okay, since when does the government bill criminals for the cost of apprehending and trying them?

    If this protest was some kind of a crime, the state of Minnesota should go arrest them and try them for it. That is how you deal with crime, you arrest and punish the people responsible for it. You don’t fucking send them a bill.

    This is nothing but the state of Minnesota trying to punish something they don’t like while being able to dispense with the rigors of due process. It is hard to arrest someone and prove they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of an actual crime. It is easy just to send someone a bill for your response to them doing something you don’t like but isn’t actually a crime.

    1. Wasn’t due process supported by like old white people who owned like slaves and stuff?

    2. Okay, since when does the government bill criminals for the cost of apprehending and trying them?

      I think the state does it fairly often. IIRC in many jurisdictions if the state has to spend extra money (eg hire a helicopter with ground penetrating radar) to investigate/proecute your crime that they otherwise would not have to spend, and you plead guilty or are convicted of the crime they can bill you for the costs.

      1. But doing that requires a conviction. The state just can’t demand their money. They have to be convicted first and a judge has to assess that as part of their sentence.

        Again, the remedy here is arresting and trying these people. It isn’t just trying to bill them.

        1. I agree with you that this is extralegal punishment, and should be unlawful.

          My guess is that the law is written in such a manner that it gives the cops a fig-leaf cover to get away with this.

          And the protesters blundered into a trap – because they felt they were entitled to trespass on private property.

          1. The Mall of America gets significant public goodies via government coercion.

            http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/a…..erica.html

            1. The Mall of America gets significant public goodies via government coercion.

              It does. Which makes it a very unsympathetic private actor. But unless one is adopting the KKK’s notion that the laws should only protect people we like, the subsidies they receive are irrelevant to the issue at hand.

              1. No, they’re not. If you get entangled with government enough you might get asked to play by government’s rules.

                1. If you get entangled with government enough you might get asked to play by government’s rules.

                  And what are the government’s rules that the MOA is refusing to play along with in this case, Bo? Please explain.

                  1. Referring to this: “In the 1990s, a Minnesota court found that because of the mall’s reliance on substantial public subsidies, it was “born of a union with government” and could only place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on protests, not ban them all together.”

                    1. Bo, that decision was reversed by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

            2. so this straw man of an argument justifies everything? Sometimes, a mall really is just a mall.

              1. Of course it doesn’t justify everything. Talk about strawmen.

                1. then why bring it up, Bo? It is a total non-sequitur.

            3. The Mall of America gets significant public goodies via government coercion.

              So because I use roads, I can’t exclude people from my private property. QED

              1. not every assistance is ‘significant’ enough to make for a quasi-public entity that might be held to SOME government standards.

                1. Big gray fuzzy lines are the assurance of justice amd not in any way prone to corrupt practices.

            4. So what?

              Would you want to establish a legal principle that a private entity or citizen loses their property and other civil rights because they have received some kind of government subsidy? Keeping in mind some unscrupulous people consider tax deductions to be subsidies.

              1. “Keeping in mind some unscrupulous people consider tax deductions to be subsidies.”

                Tony? Barrack Obama?

    3. I agree with your overall point, but I don’t get they are going to ‘send them a bill’ but they will seek restitution as one of the punishments upon conviction.

      1. I have a problem with that. We all pay taxes to support the police and to enforce the law. The punishment for a crime is what is in the statute. The statute doesn’t and shouldn’t say “X months in jail and paying for the cost to try you”.

        We punish people from crimes out of the interests of justice. What is “just punishment” has nothing to do with the cost of prosecuting the crime. I could go out and commit a horrible crime and immediately turn myself in and admit to it. Or I could commit a fairly minor crime that for whatever reason costs the government a fortune to arrest and convict me. If criminals have to pay the cost of policing their crime, I could conceivably be punished more for the second crime than the first.

        The fact that it costs the government a lot to catch me says nothing about the seriousness of my actual crime or how deserving I am of punishment.

        1. You make a good point, I’m just saying I don’t think they are sending a bill apart from conviction.

    4. Restitution as part of a sentence is supposed to go to the victims. I can see anyone convicted of trespassing being forced to send the MOA some cash as restitution for lost business (the MOA actually shut down on a busy shopping day). Sending money to the cops or city though should be off the table.

      Sometimes people convicted of crimes in MN have to pay the government for services as part of their probation (for example drug tests or having a ignition lock put on their car in the case of DUI).

      1. ^^THIS^^

        Restitution is for victims not the cops. A criminal should pay for the damages caused by their crime, not the cost of prosecuting it.

        1. Suing for damages is not practical in this case, and any business that attempts to do so is going to be targeted again by the protesters.

          1. I think the big problem with a business suing for damages is that it was the cops who freaked out and closed the mall.

            If I was a protester being sued for lost business, I’d make sure the judge/jury (is there a jury in a tort case?) would know that I didn’t close the mall.

            I’d put the blame for businesses closing directly on the cops/mall management. After all, everyone agreed that the protests were peaceful and caused no damage.

            Why should I as a peaceful protester be penalized because the cops are pussies?

          2. That is why you throw the protestors in jail. Trespass is a criminal problem. Throw them in jail and they won’t be targeting anyone.

        2. The cops are always the true victims.

          They were inconvenienced. Annoyed. How dare the peasants?

  7. the mall’s reliance on substantial public subsidies

    WTF? Why are taxpayers subsidizing a mall?

    1. At this point it doesn’t matter why, it only matters that it is subsidized.

    2. Why do sports teams rely on taxpayer subsidies?

    3. Because it allows the local pols to bring home the bacon. The legislature has recently been giving tons of money to Mpls (Vikings stadium), St. Paul (stadium for minor league baseball), Rochester (Mayo clinic) and other cities. The Bloomington pols just wanted their cut.

      God forbid that the owners of the MOA have to spend their own money to expand.

      1. The Saints are a professional baseball team not associated with MLB; they are not a minor league team. 😉

        1. I’m still baffled as to how they got their new stadium. It wasn’t like Midway was not a good place for them.

          I know I won’t be seeing any more Saints games at their new stadium. It is on the wrong side of the river.

          Even more maddening is how a small professional team is able to run up the stadium costs just like they were in the MLB.

          http://blogs.twincities.com/ci…..ints-deal/

          1. Moral hazard is how. When someone else foots the bill (or part of it) people spend more.

      2. And as we know, the MOA doesn’t pay any taxes. [/sarcasm]

  8. In the 1990s, a Minnesota court found that because of the mall’s reliance on substantial public subsidies, it was “born of a union with government” and could only place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on protests, not ban them all together.

    That sounds great…but that is an awfully dangerous path to go down – “born of a union with government” opening the door to that same government dictating your actions is not something we would want, no matter how good the initial outcome/result is.

    1. I agree Swiss. That is a total bullshit decision. The government has go no go authority over virtually any big building project. By this logic, virtually every privately owned building that ever got a tax break or a zoning variance is subject to some judge declaring it public property.

      1. All property belongs to the state. Try not paying your property taxes rent and see what happens.

      2. A government granting permission is one thing, a government giving positive subsidy or aid is another.

        1. Only in degree. In both cases the building is only there because the government agreed to do it. You think it is an important distinction but there is nothing to stop a judge from disagreeing.

          Once you are willing to say the government, by helping in some way, effectively owns private property, there is no end to the slope.

          1. It’s a pretty big difference between the government saying ‘you can build here where a willing seller already said you could’ and ‘we will go out and collect millions of dollars from other people and give it to you to use to build here.’

            1. That suggests that anyone who has received government backed student loans or ACA subsidies has potentially signed away their civil liberties.

              I do not see any limiting principle in the notion you are defending.

              1. Don’t forget welfare, social security and every other form of corporate welfare.

    2. “That sounds great…but that is an awfully dangerous path to go down -”

      That’s not gonna make me sleep better, either.
      If a business uses the ROADZZ, does that constitute a ‘union’ with the government?
      I smell the commerce clause growing another tentacle.

      1. Fortunately – “But the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision in 1998.”

    3. They tax the pants off of the businesses in the mall, too.

      In theory, they could raise income taxes to 100% and give you back a 60% tax credit in exchange for giving up your private property rights, and the court would bless it.

  9. By deciding to trespass, the protesters made themselves vulnerable to be buttfucked by the state.

    For trespass. The penalties of which are here:

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.033

    Trespass is a misdemeanor in MN, with a max fine of $1,000.

    1. Exactly. And if the MOA suffered damages due to that trespass, their remedy is in civil court.

      I would have to look, but it is a good possibility that a judge can also order restitution for any damage or harm a trespasser did to the owner of the property in addition to the fine.

      1. John|12.29.14 @ 11:56AM|#
        “Exactly. And if the MOA suffered damages due to that trespass, their remedy is in civil court.”

        And I can’t see the state suffering any damage other than overtime; those cops were gonna be out harassing others if they weren’t at the mall.

        1. And even if they did incur extra costs, so what? Why should the criminal be responsible for that? The criminal is responsible for his crime, whatever that is. I don’t see how he can be responsible for the police reaction to that.

          Think about where that goes. Lets say I commit a petty break in of a store one night and the police mistakenly think I am a terrorist there to rob the biolab next door of its weaponized Ebola. So the police call out the entire department and roll out hundreds of cops and my arrest looks like the courthouse scene in the Blues Brothers, should I be stuck with the bill for all of that? I don’t think so.

          1. I think there is a great distance between what people think “ought” to happen, and what they say “is” going to happen.

            I don’t think anyone commenting here is of the opinion that people should be fined extrajudicially for decisions that other people make.

          2. A better example would be when some college kid goes missing and the cops swarm the area looking for them. Then it turns out that the kid just took off for a while to go on a weekend bender (or to clear his head).

            When it turns out that there was no foul play the cops always pitch a hissy fit about the resources that they spent trying to find the person. Despite the fact that the person didn’t ask for any of it.

            1. Wasn’t there a woman in Georgia a few years ago that did that on her wedding day. I remember everyone going nuts over it.

            2. It was like that with those lighted signs by the roads in Boston. It was a teaser ad campaign, but authorities treated it like they were bombs.

  10. Who says America’s entrepreneurial spirit is dead?

  11. The bottom line here is that the state is trying to kill free speech for charging you for it.

    1. And charging both before the speech (the taxpayer subsidy) and afterwards (trumped-up trespass charges) by assuming they needed to staff up even though it was unnecessary.

      So the government plans about as poorly as central planners have done through history, and the poor results are never the planners’ fault.

      In a sane America, the MOA would be a strip mall because that’s all the private operators could afford, and they’d call the local militia if protests got out of hand. But in a sane America there wouldn’t be police violence and victimless crimes in the first place.

  12. I have a friend* who was at the MOA during these protests. According to her, the actual protesters were only made up of a couple hundred people. The rest of the “thousands” number was from people who were there (go figure the MOA was packed just before xmas) who went to see what the commotion was all about.

    She thought everything went OK because the protesters were mostly civil and the riot cops mostly just stood back and didn’t interfere/threaten. I’ll have to see what she thinks about this now.

    * I am ashamed to say that this person is my friend because she actually went to the MOA voluntarily.

    1. The rest of the “thousands” number was from people who were there (go figure the MOA was packed just before xmas) who went to see what the commotion was all about.”

      This makes sense.

      I noted during like, “week 2” of the ferguson protests, that crane-shots of the streets showed maybe ‘100 protestors’ and about 200 news and media people and maybe another 300 dudes just ‘hanging around on the periphery’ who seemed to think that this was a good excuse to go slumming.

  13. Mall of America has long forbidden demonstrations within the shopping mega-center

    am I the only one who read this part? The Mall is in the retail business, not the protest or community organizing business and, evidently, that is not exactly a secret. So the protestors decided to pick a spot that would fuck with everyone, from merchants to shoppers to, ultimately, taxpayers since the PD would wind up in the mix.

    1. The protestors pick a spot where people will be forced to pay attention to them. There is no other connection between the deaths of Brown and Garner and shopping malls.

      It’s a travesty that the cops don’t protect MOA’s property rights but actually protect the trespassers violating them.

  14. “Peaceful but unlawful assembly”

    Sort of like breaking into your house and stealing your TV is peaceful. Libertarians don’t recognize trespassing as a violation of rights anymore?

    1. No. Stealing the TV is not peaceful and neither is breaking in. The better analogy is you throwing a block party and several of your neighbors showing up with protest signs, ruining your party and then refusing to leave. The fact that they are peaceful and didn’t beat anyone up or tear up your house is really besides the point.

      1. seems most this discussion is focused on the beside the point. I get why the mall was picked – because it would disrupt things enough to gain news coverage in case the theme of protest itself was not deemed newsworthy.

      2. She’s trying to shoehorn this protest into First Amendment protected activity.

    2. Certainly – but the remedy is arrest for trespass by the cops, or an action in tort by the Mall.

      Skipping those is the problem. Where is the source of authority for the billing? Who determined damages? Who determined who shall pay?

    3. Uh, “unlawful”. I think that is a recognition of property rights.

      But I wouldn’t call breaking and entering peaceful. Doing something you aren’t supposed to do in a place that is generally open to the public is a much less serious crime by any reasonable measure. Still trespassing, though.

      1. Uh, “unlawful”. I think that is a recognition of property rights.

        That’s a recognition of the text of the law. They use the same term for illegal immigrants and marijuana use but there is no violation of rights there.

        1. OK, but I don’t see anyone saying that that law is illegitimate. Just that billing people without due process is. For trespassing, the appropriate action is to punish the people who trespassed after they are convicted, not to send a bill to some people who haven’t been convicted of anything.

  15. Let’s not forget:

    The cops are billing for doing nothing here. They didn’t stop the protests/protect property rights. They just . . . stood there and let property rights be violated.

    Sure, they made a few arrests, but they did nothing that actually helped a private citizen in any way.

    That’s what they are billing for: doing nothing.

    1. RC, you give them too little credit.

      The moment the chanting started Saturday, officers locked down about 80 stores and several mall entrances. In and around the rotunda, business came to a halt for about two hours.
      Nate Bash works at one store near the rotunda, which he didn’t want us to name.
      “You had people yelling and screaming inside the mall that wanted out and you had people yelling and screaming outside the mall that wanted in,” he said. “I would say the mall was less than half as busy as it should have been considering what day it was.”

      The cops were the ones who shut the businesses down. It wasn’t the protesters. They did something. Unfortunately what they did made things worse.

      1. So the mall should be suing the cops, then? Makes sense to me.

      2. Well, that puts the kibosh on any civil action by the store owners for their lost business, doesn’t it?

    2. You’re being a bit too clever here. By that standard private sector security guards get paid for doing nothing.

      1. You’re omitting the bit where they are paid voluntarily by their employer for doing nothing.

    3. The police presence may have discouraged any would be looters. But store owners with baseball bats probably would have done the job too.

    4. That’s what they are billing for: doing nothing.

      IOW, business as usual.

    5. Not to put too fine a point on it, but services like police and fire are best when you’re paying them to do nothing.

      You WANT there to be no looting, no arson and no vandalism.

      You’re paying them to be a deterrent mostly, and a response force if needed–but you want deterrence.

  16. That’s what they are billing for: doing nothing.

    Otherwise known as “extortion”.

  17. my roomate’s mother makes $71 /hr on the internet . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her payment was $12827 just working on the internet for a few hours. this link…..
    ?????http://www.netjob70.com

    1. You misspelled nutjob.

  18. Forget about it ENB; it’s Bloomington.

  19. If they knew ahead of time they were going to be billed, they could always follow the example of one of their own-Mr. Al Sharpton; and I’m sure it will get to that, anyway! No use looking for any logic, here.

  20. “That’s a hell of a way to handle “criminal justice”, no? Private property owners lose. Peaceful demonstrators lose. But the city makes money at everyone’s expense!”

    Now you’re catching on!

    Government of, by, and for the Government.

  21. Lots of places have fees for special events and parades to cover the marginal costs in the increase in security necessary. If the area around Mall of Americas has such a law in place, then yes, the protesters should receive a bill for their activities, and still be prosecuted for trespassing.

    1. Also the businesses in Mall of Americas should be able to sue the demonstrators as well.

      Please form a line to buttfuck the malcontents.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.