George Floyd

Violent Enforcement of Curfews Will Perpetuate the Cycle of Police Violence

The U.S. already has a major problem with overcriminalization.

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A small group of peaceful demonstrators gathered near the police station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, yesterday to protest the death of George Floyd, the man killed last week by a Minneapolis cop. But as time pressed on, the police began to push the sign-waving group back, warning them that they would be arrested if they didn't disperse. It was past 6:00 p.m., the city's curfew.

The protests in Myrtle Beach have remained sparse and nonviolent, yet the people there were prohibited from leaving their residences from 6:00 last night until 6:00 this morning. Businesses were strongly encouraged to close, with the beach borough becoming a ghost town as commercial staples closed up shop.

A threat of violence against the Myrtle Beach Police Department had reportedly triggered the civil emergency. The threat never came to fruition, but officers made good on their promise to arrest those that didn't comply. Seventeen people were taken into custody for violating Mayor Brenda Bethune's executive order—a violation that amounted to nothing more than exercising their legal right to assembly.

That's one problem with curfews: They criminalize behavior that is inherent to civil liberties. But imposing one in the face of police protests adds an extra layer of trouble—to enforce it, you need to give police more power. How do you do that without restoking the reason people are protesting in the first place?

You can see where the impulse to impose these curfews is coming from. Not every place has been as quiet as Myrtle Beach: D.C., Los Angeles, and Atlanta, for instance, have seen rioters smashing windows, robbing shops, and setting storefronts ablaze. By Sunday, at least 40 cities had instituted curfews, which vary in their restrictiveness. D.C. originally opted for 11 p.m. but moved that to 7 p.m. on Monday; Atlanta settled on 9 p.m.; Philadelphia, which has been the setting of some of the most intense riots, set one for 6.

Santa Monica and Beverly Hills opted for 1 p.m.

The U.S. has a knack for overcriminalizing things; we boast the highest incarceration rate in the world. But making it a crime to leave your residence after 1:00 p.m. really ups the ante.

Such ludicrously early curfews—or any curfews, for that matter—end up reinforcing the impulse to protest the cops. Our criminal justice system encourages bad police behavior by making criminals out of just about everyone, giving officers far too many opportunities to exercise power over Americans. Those scuffles can turn deadly.

Consider Tanya Kerssen of Minneapolis, who lives a few blocks north of where George Floyd was killed. On Saturday, while she was outside on her porch, the National Guard and the Minneapolis Police Department came by, firing paint canisters at her and any neighbors who failed to immediately obey their order to go inside. She was not protesting. Nor was she in violation of the local curfew, which applies only to public spaces, not private property.

Such overescalations will probably be even more common in poor, minority neighborhoods, where police already have a heavier presence. Blacks may also experience disproportionate enforcement for violating those curfews, with early data showing that African-Americans are potentially more likely to be arrested for flouting social distancing orders. That type of thing certainly won't help quell the anti-police sentiment ramping up across the country.

Curfews aren't new. If anything, Americans are probably more familiar with them now than they ever have been, thanks to COVID-19 and the regulations it inspired. But as I wrote last month, those coronavirus rules amount "mostly to an attempt to 'do something,' even if that something flouts science and common sense."

D.C., Philadelphia, and Atlanta alike can all attest to the fact that curfews didn't deter the riots. If anything, they intensified. But now officers have an excuse to arrest peaceful people. Just ask those protesters in Myrtle Beach.

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    1. You know, I consider myself a libertarian, but this stuff really shows our weaknessess. I agree that imposing curfews is a violation of our right to peaceably assemble, but the problem is after about 9PM lets stop pretending anyone is out there to peaceably assemble….it is clear that these people are intending violence….One of the things we argue as libertarians is that the military should not be doing anything overseas and the only purpose should be to protect the citizens from attack both foreign AND DOMESTIC…..We are being terrorized right now and I do not see anything in this article to answer how less police somehow gets us out of this.

  1. Since SCOTUS doesn’t think ignoring some BoR amendments is really worth worrying over…I don’t think this will get much traction.

  2. The lockdowns were supposed to have trained us into unquestioning pacification. ARE AMERICANS UNTRAINABLE?

    1. The difference is that the government is willing (and eager) to use force on people violating the lockdown

      Rioters, not so much, since most of the left agrees with them

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  3. Actually, history is pretty clear on this. Actually stopping riots and looting early is what keeps them stopped.

    Letting riots and looting go on for 2-3 days, the stopping them when everyone is worn out and businesses are destroyed is what encourages them in the future.

    1. Free iPhone X
      Free Air Jordans
      #Lootcrew

    2. General curfews do absolutely nothing to stop riots not even if imposed early.

    3. How you stop the riot is as or more important than when you stop it. Attempting to stop a riot about police aggression by implementing more even more aggressive police policies is unlikely to stop the riot … ever.

      Talking to civic leaders and actually doing something about police reforms, however, would stop these riots from happening in the first place.

      As to what you have to do, my priorities would be:
      1. Abolish (un)qualified immunity.
      2. Require policemen to carry liability insurance equivalent to a doctor or a lawyer’s malpractice insurance.
      3. Abolish all police union negotiated “exceptions” to open record laws. I’m okay redacting SSNs and home addresses from an officer’s disciplinary file but that’s about it.
      4. Revoke all police employment contracts. Replace with employment-at-will.
      5. Just as the defense of police and county officials is a secondary responsibility of the Prosecutor’s Office, move prosecution of police and county officials to the responsibility of the Public Defender’s Office.

      1. You mean like how Ferguson worked with community leaders, agreed to massive retraining and reform, hired many minorities… yet was still attacked yesterday?

        Do you believe your bullshit?

        1. I think your interpretation of “working with” community leaders might be a little more anemic than mine. Have their “massive retraining and reform” efforts actually led to accountability? Have they abolished qualified immunity? Have they closed the loopholes on civil asset forfeiture? Have they opened police disciplinary files to public review? Have they demilitarized their police? Have they made it easier to fire the bad cops? Have they broken the ‘thin blue line’ code of silence? Have their “reforms” actually reformed anything at all?

          Or was it a paperwork exercise in placating until attention died down?

          Please enlighten us. Precisely what steps with what observable outcomes has the city of Ferguson enacted to reform their use of police?

          1. Have they abolished qualified immunity?
            Have they closed the loopholes on civil asset forfeiture?
            Have they opened police disciplinary files to public review?
            Have they demilitarized their police?
            Have they made it easier to fire the bad cops?
            Have they broken the ‘thin blue line’ code of silence?

            Outstanding. Those 6 things would go a very very long way to solving this problem.

      2. “Attempting to stop a riot about police aggression by implementing more even more aggressive police policies is unlikely to stop the riot … ever.”

        Yep, their word is totes reliable

      3. These are communist riots.
        Police violence is just a convenient excuse.

        I do really like your #5 though

        1. I like #1, #3 also.

      4. Get rid of the police department entirely. If you need men with guns to come protect you from an attack, they should be on call like the fire department. No more having trained thugs driving around 24/7 looking for citizens to fuck with.

        1. Sorry, I, Woodchipper, but cops are needed around, whether you or other people like them or not. A radical change in the Cop culture here in the United States is needed.

          1. citation needed. Just saying “cops are needed all around” doesn’t make it so. Needed by who? Needed for what?

            I’m unconvinced. Luckily for you, nearly everyone agrees with you and the system will continue as is. “review boards” and “community liaisons” will continue to be feckless as cops terrorize the citizenry, often in the name of invalid and immoral laws, often just for kicks.

            1. I stand by what I’ve said about cops being needed, whether people like them or not, but yet I agree with the notion that police departments here in the United States need to do more to bring rogue cops who abuse their power to justice, subject them to strict disciplinary action(s), and permanently dismiss these rogue cops from their respective police departments, if necessary. Civilian Review boards and/or overseers are necessary, and should be implemented.

      5. Talking to civic leaders and actually doing something about police reforms, however, would stop these riots from happening in the first place.

        What nonsense.

        1. Oh, come on, Marshal! Talking and conversing with civic leaders and neighbors, etc. would go a long way towards actually doing something about these police reforms, and prevent such riots from happening in the first place.

  4. Riots bro. At least pretend you’re aware of the world

  5. Are the police going to use non-violent force? What happens if the looters ignore the directions of the police?

    1. Using force directly against rioters is justified.

      Using force to enforce general curfews against people who are NOT rioting is NOT justified.

      1. Excellent point, MatthewSlyfield. Bravo! Thanks.

      2. ^ this.

  6. It’s extremely difficult to offend me, much less piss me off, but somehow this pathetic excuse for a rag has managed to do both. I’ve put up with years of smug, condescending, supercilious faux libertarianism from the writers at Reason and kept coming back, but the cavalier approach they have taken toward the senseless property destruction of the past few days — not to mention their steadfast refusal to brand the brigands terrorizing the streets as rioters and looters — has frayed my patience to the breaking point. The writers here, like too many assholes on Twitter, seem to be shrugging off the destruction as the cost of doing business. “Not a big deal — insurance will pay for it.” But in most cases, insurance won’t pay for it. Business insurance policies have clauses specifically exempting damage sustained due to war, insurrection, or riots. Most of these small businesses, already teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after months of senseless lockdowns, will have no way of rebuilding and restocking, short of taking out loans at extortionate rates of interest, if they’re even able to qualify for them. In the vast majority of cases, they’ll be forced to close their doors for good. Those jobs will be gone, and cities will slide further into disrepair and blight.

    But what do these rioters care? Most of them are from out of town. The damage won’t affect them personally. They don’t rely on these shops and stores for their livelihoods. They’ll just move on to vent their spleen elsewhere.

    The fact that the most these wussy, beta Reason writers can find it in themselves to muster is a few wags of the finger and clicks of the tongue proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they’re total sellouts and has me seriously contemplating never coming back.

    You’re fucking journalists. You’re supposed to speak truth to power. Stop retreating into limpwristed platitudes, wussy equivocation, and disingenuous false equivalencies. Stop making excuses for hatemongers and assholes. Stop being total pussies.

    And if you can’t manage to grow a pair, then kindly fuck right off.

    1. Here is my problem. I get that you are angry with Reason for not calling Antifa to account, but at this point the police have to be stopped.

      When you see a person shouting at a cop, and then that cop hauls off and peppersprays him, and the cop next to him launches a teargas canister into that man’s face from 5 ft- when you see this, you are seeing cops who believe they are unaccountable to the populace. We see it when cops just driving by a crowd- no looting, no rioting, just shouting and flipping them off- slow down and pepper spray the people in their face.

      These cops do it because they get away with it. They know that as soon as the rioting starts, they can do whatever the fuck they want and people will excuse every excess as long as we can stop the Rioting.

      Floyd was killed by exactly these same cops. They watched the cameras like psychopaths while they strangled a man. They did it because for decades, they could do that shit just as long as they put the drug dealers away. Just as long as they kept the riots closed.

      I hate drug abuse. I hate rioting. But I have finally come to the conclusion that as bad as those things are, nothing is worse than cops who will kill or attempt to kill a person on camera because they know someone will justify it for them.

      1. They are never going to call Antifa out. Never. They tacitly support this shit, if not outright. Libertarian my ass. This site is run by progressives, through and through.

        1. At this point I don’t give a fuck who is running the site, I find myself in agreement.

          Put it this way: I am told all the time to hold my nose and vote for Trump and the GOP in general as the least of two evils. I sympathize with that sentiment. And I am saying that if the choice is between riots being a little worse and police who are not held to account for trying to maim and murder people, I’ll take the riots.

          Does that suck for the business owners? Yes it absolutely does. Could it result in *my* loss of life or property? Yes it absolutely does. Just as choosing to neuter the mass surveillance state will have some increase in risk of terrorism, I understand that focusing on police brutality at this point will likely mean more Antifa fuckers will cause problems.

          But as I said earlier today, we are at a rare point where the country has finally seen police who believe they are above all of us. You may think yourself better than Antifa, but these police will just as surely fill your lungs with pepper spray as any Antifa person. We saw that yesterday as they shot at people sitting on their porch, or filming for the press. THEY DON’T CARE. And unlike Antifa, they have billions of dollars of war materiale at their disposal.

          1. And unlike Antifa, they have billions of dollars of war materiale at their disposal.

            Yep, this is the crucial difference.

            1. Wouldn’t be so sure antifa doesn’t.
              Just have to widen your perspective on war materiale

          2. Those riots and cries of “muh Racism” are the best way to keep police authority up.

          3. if the choice is between riots being a little worse and police who are not held to account for trying to maim and murder people, I’ll take the riots.

            What a fucking retarded hypothetical.

            1. I’d like a world where police are held accountable and have some degree of community trust-since the officers are comprised of members of the community-and there’s also no rioting.

              I wonder why that’s too much to ask for. Are we being asked to believe that two wrongs make a right?

              1. Dude look around the world. It’s like clockwork; burned out cars, boarded up shops, then professional and courteous police.

              2. If we had a world where police are held accountable and have some degree of community trust-since the officers are comprised of members of the community it wouldn’t necessarily guarantee no rioting, but it would likely cut way back on the amount of rioting.

                However, to get to “a world where police are held accountable and have some degree of community trust-since the officers are comprised of members of the community”, you need to get rid of a couple of things first.

                1. Qualified Immunity
                2. Police Unions

              3. Well I would like a world where humans are expected to act in a decent peaceful way. Minorities are famous for resisting arrest and giving police a bunch of shit but even them they are a minority killed by police. Funny thing is blacks kill blacks, not a peep. Blacks kill whites, nod a peep. Cop kills white, not a peep. White cop kills black, world war III. This Reason rag has just become more and more leftist, should just change the name to Treason.

          4. I’ll take the riots.

            11 dead and counting, I’m sure your support is appreciated.

      2. “When you see a person shouting at a cop, and then that cop hauls off and peppersprays him, and the cop next to him launches a teargas canister into that man’s face from 5 ft”

        What was the protester doing within 6 feet and shouting?
        I’d bet money that the protester in question was bitching about people wanting to get haircuts just a week or two ago

        1. “What was the protester doing within 6 feet and shouting?”

          Go watch the video. He is about ten feet from the line shouting at the cops, and one walks up calmly and sprays him in the face. The guy next to him steps forward and shoots him in the face with the canister.

          I don’t care what this guy was shouting. Do you disagree that it is unacceptable for a cop to shoot someone in the face with a tear gas launcher designed to shoot a can hundreds of feet?

          I also don’t care what this guy was shouting a week or two ago. And by the way, neither do the cops. 6 months ago, I never thought I would be like this guy shouting in protest. But then 6 months ago, I didn’t think Blue Governors would put complete cities and states under house arrest.

          If you were angry and pissed that governors were shutting down the country, then you should be absolutely appalled that Cops have free reign to shoot YOU in the face if you disobey lockdown orders and go out to protest. Sure, you may not care enough about Floyd to protest, but the way Blue governors have been handling going, it isn’t long before they find something you DO find worth protesting.

          1. Gee, irrational, emotional human animals react to other irrational, emotion human animals. Did you expect anything else? Do you wish for magical Wonder Cops? Or maybe robot cops?

            Free speech sometimes gets people in deep shit.

            1. Sounds like you’re defending out of control cops who blatantly show disregard for citizens. Are you?

          2. Goddamn, overt, I don’t think it’s physically possible for you to read any more into my joke.
            Displacement is supposed to go on your shrink, dude

      3. What perfect horseshit. Tell it to this guy:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdvNY2qesMc
        Your ludicrous false equivalency aside, NOTHING justifies looting, mayhem, rioting, etc. I suspect your viewpoint would quickly change if one of these little looting darlings was crawling through your window. AFAIC, anyone who attempts to unlawfully take my property will be shot. Period.

        We do need immediate, substantive change, but I fear after the fires are put out, the protesters get tuckered out, and the looters are finally quelled, we’ll be treated to more of the same: police excusing/shielding the bad cops; GOPers providing them air cover and living in denial that while most cops are good, there is a significant portion that aren’t; Dems excusing resisting arrest, looting, rioting, and basically having to abide by the law based on what your skin color is; the BLM/Ta-Nehisi Coates crowd demanding perpetual taxpayer-fueled government freebies and slavery reparations and continuing to defend/excuse the vile, cancerous hip-hop culture, absentee father epidemic, and other ills the black community is suffering, while shutting down any meaningful dialogue/solutions with calls of racism…

    2. Ahhhhh your empathy is showing. The owners can man up, and pay their bills like everyone else you look down on.

      Sorry you can’t get permission to get violent, pout more bitch.

      1. “The owners can man up, and pay their bills like everyone else you look down on.”

        Wtf are you talking about psycho?

    3. You endorse unprovoked police beatdowns of peaceful protesters, such as those in Myrtle Beach (the subject of this piece).

      Just in case a few might be bad apples, and commit crimes in the future, you are sanctioning authoritarian violence against all of them, preemptively.

      You must then also endorse the seizing of all firearms from all citizens, just in case a few of them might use them for crime at some point in the future?

    4. As someone who began reading Reason in the late 80s, and subscribed to it for years: thanks for summarizing my feelings as well.

  7. What a load of crap. Violence, including deadly force, is the appropriate response to looting and riots.

    1. Looting and riots in response to the use of violence should be responded by the use of more violence by the very people whose use of violence sparked the riots in the first place.

      1. I mean, youre being pretty generous in crediting the original cause to the justification given

        1. Anger at police is at least giving people the excuse, since it’s getting protestors out into the streets.

          The actual causes for the riots are more complex, and may have to do with the extreme unemployment and the quarantines. But the belief that police aren’t held accountable is a major factor-how many people here are still pissed about that Daniel Shaver cop? He actually got to retire with a PTSD severance package from the horrible experience of having to go to trial for killing a man! We bring that up all the time because it’s garbage, and it’s not a unique circumstance. There’s still a lot of issues to be resolved with the Houston Narcotics unit over the Dennis Tuttle situation, and yet a nearly identical thing happened to Breonna Taylor because nobody learned any lessons from the former.

          So maybe George Floyd wasn’t the cause, but it was the trigger-we didn’t have riots 10 days ago, but now we do.

          1. “Anger at police”

            People have been angry at cops as long as I’ve been alive. I’d wager longer.
            You ever heard of the term “useful idiot”?
            Learn to tell an excuse from a cause.
            The vast majority of the people out there, including legitimate protesters, don’t really give much of a shit about police accountability. Otherwise, they’d have made it a priority long before now. But truth is most people don’t deal with police tyranny often if at all in their lives (before you jump to conclusions, let it be known that I’ve been jailed twice – and you’ll never really understand that feeling unless you go through it) – so it’s not something they think about much. People who don’t read Reason don’t have daily articles about asshole cops to remind them on a day to day basis.
            The lockdowns have caused some frustration and bottled energy (though you might rightly assume that at least half the protesters have been fully on board with them and bitching about any pushback). There’s people joining in because it’s a fad and/or they have nothing else to do. There’s people joining in to loot. There are some who are genuinely outraged. And then there are the professional activists and race hustlers.

            1. The left has been undergoing a mass psychotic breakdown for at least 5 years, but I’d say it stretches back further than that.
              6 or so years ago, antifa became a thing. 4 years ago, they became the primary soldiers for the left.
              Now they’ve had 4, 5 years to work on their organization and riot tactics. They’ve learned from 2016-2017. They’ve expanded their networks and funding.
              Leftists have spent 5 years emotionally and mentally breaking down, being bombarded by messages of resistance and achieving supremacy.
              They are primed to explode. And antifa is ready to pull the trigger.
              These “protests” are being organized by communists and taking advantage of useful idiots

              1. Have you been reading Great Awokening stuff, particularly Zach Goldberg?

                1. I have not.
                  Don’t know what that is

                  1. Great Awokening = liberals, largely white, start going crazy around 2013
                    Zach Goldberg has done the most empirical work, mostly on twitter https://twitter.com/ZachG932, but also at least one long piece at Tablet.

                    1. Nice.
                      Will check that out

              2. We’ve also had a serious, pressing need for major criminal justice reforms for years. Tamir Rice was 2014, Daniel Shaver in early 2016. All we’ve gotten is just a bit of easing of restrictions on marijuana but no major reforms to make police more accountable when they cross the line.

                I’m not excusing the rioters, but I’m pointing out the answer is not to stack more police in cities because they just become targets. The only answer is for citizens to become more accountable for protecting themselves. That’s always been the case anyway-when seconds matter, police are always minutes away.

                1. Brilliant idea. After all, with things like the “snitches get stitches” culture in high-crime areas, “Stand Your Ground,” and the Ahmaud Arbery killer yahoos, what could possibly go wrong?

          2. The Ten Magic Phrases of Journalism

            “violence flared”
            “limped into port”
            “according to informed sources”
            “wholesale destruction”
            “no immediate comment”
            “student unrest”
            “riot-torn”
            “flatly denied”
            “gutted by fire”
            “roving bands of Negro youths”

            None of this is new. The burden should be on people arguing that this time there’s a real cause behind time.

            1. left a stray ‘time’ up there

      2. Sorry, Agammamon, but looters and rioters, especially those those who destroy property and businesses, and thereby fuck up people’s livelihoods really deserve to be punished–severely. There’s no excuse for that kind of shit (i. e. the looting, rioting, stealing and fire-setting), regardless of who engages in it. I have no respect or sympathy for such people. Looters, rioters and fire setters deserve to be treated roughly. Behave in a vicious, criminal manner, and get treated as such. That’s the bottom line.

        Peaceful protestors–that’s a different story. They should be left alone, unless they’re unnecessarily blocking traffic and making people late for work or whatever, especially right now during the Covid-19 virus.

  8. r any curfews, for that matter—end up reinforcing the impulse to protest the cops.

    No kidding. Arizona just got an 8PM curfew for the next week. I was so mad that I went out to protest it. Thankfully the YCSD has refused to enforce it. So there I was, in the middle of my little rural patch with no one in sight to protest the curfew that was supposed to keep me safe from the looters 300 miles away.

  9. I’ll be playing tennis well after the 7:00 p.m. Dallas curfew. fytw.

    Also, Bob Dylan did NOT write Shelter From the Storm about the pleasures of government lockdowns.

  10. “The protests in Myrtle Beach have remained sparse and nonviolent, yet the people there were prohibited from leaving their residences from 6:00 last night until 6:00 this morning.”

    Let’s at least give them credit – the point of these laws is to stop rioting before it starts, not to lock the stable door after the horses have bolted and burned down businesses.

    I’m not sure what I should think about curfews, but I’m beginning to lean toward the position that at a time of widespread rioting across the country, curfews are a reasonable time/place/manner restriction on large public gatherings.

    1. Wait, prohibited from leaving residences? I missed that part, I’m not quite so sure about that.

      1. No, I don’t think that people should be prohibited from leaving their residences if they need to do an errand, or go somewhere, but I do think that during the Covid-19 pandemic, public gatherings really should be restricted –and with damned good reason.

    2. Yeah, when I pulled into Myrtle Beach last night, the place was a ghost town. It was almost eerie. I was pretty pissed when I checked into the hotel, only to find out that the entire city was under a curfew. Escaped the lockdown of Philly, only up fall into the lockdown of Myrtle.

      Seriously, who wants to raise kids in a country in which they have to walk around in masks and huddle inside even before the sun has gone down. I don’t know how much longer people will be able to put up with it.

      I’m not so sure they even are at this point.

      1. Just as an aside, I was in New Mexico for a week and I notice just about as many people not wearing masks as people who were wearing masks and New Mexico wen’t pretty close to full-Nazi on the COVID panic.

  11. If we can be arrested for going to Church, it should not be a surprise that we can be arrested for violating a curfew.
    Come on Reason; develop a libertarian philosophy and stay with it.
    If the action of restricting the ‘religion’ part of the first amendment is reasonable to you, then restricting the ‘assemble’ part must also be reasonable.

    1. Restricting assembly would negatively affect commerce and Charles Koch’s net worth. We can’t have billionaires losing money because of a simple cough. As for religious assemblies, who care? Churches don’t pay taxes and they threaten the welfare state!

    2. Reason has been pretty much against the restrictions on churches.

  12. Binion, are you really this obtuse?

    Rioters and looters are breaking the law. Period. That is why we shoot them because in a civilized society, you cannot function with rioters and looters about. Peaceful, non-violent protest and dissent is fine. Cross the line into rioting and looting and you belong in a fucking cage, assuming you are not shot and killed first.

    Where the fuck did you go to school? Did they teach you to think this way?

    1. Should the government be allowed to temporarily limit civil liberties to protect private property and enforce the rule of law? Wouldn’t that make Trump look “good”?

      1. ‘Wouldn’t that make Trump look “good”?’

        If your first thought regarding potential solutions to widespread rioting and destruction of property is to consider whether those solutions support or impede your political allies/enemies, you may want to reconsider your priorities.

        1. You’ll never make it in progressivism with that attitude

  13. They are mostly peaceful curfews

    1. LOL! Stalin’s first Five Year Plan was mostly peaceful. Mao’s Great Leap Forward was mostly peaceful. Funny how peaceful it can be to start processes that result in 100 million deaths.

      Will we will be so busy guarding against being ratted out by our neighbors for curfew or social distancing violations that we won’t notice when people arrested never come out again?

  14. Sheriff:

    https://twitter.com/FOX13News/status/1267539936401592320
    “The people in Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns… And if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns.”

    1. This guy needs to run for President.

  15. curfews: They criminalize behavior that is inherent to civil liberties.

    Hmm. How about listing a few more things that do that?

  16. “”That’s one problem with curfews: They criminalize behavior that is inherent to civil liberties.””

    The same is said about quarantining healthy people.

  17. ok, I usually just skim the articles to get to the comments.
    I double-skimmed this one, and I still don’t see the author’s recommended alternative for dealing with the arsonists and looters hiding among the protestors.
    The author is just another rock thrower.

  18. Yeah, it is a cycle in the governments benefit.

    Step 1: Declare an emergency. Doesn’t matter if it’s an emergency or not, as long as people are scared.

    Step 2: Declare draconian responses to the emergency that include curtailing the public’s rights to do basically anything.

    Step 3: Wait for the violence.

    Step 4: Use the violence as justification for even more draconian responses hoping the general populaces fear makes them pliable.

    I’m not certain what the next steps are, but it’s something like trying to make those changes permanent or a ‘new normal’. This is how we got the TSA, why not use the same game plan with COVID?

    How many people are still terrified of terrorism without any real basis? Probably more than will still be terrified of COVID for the next few months. So there’s the silver lining.

    You see it turns out that people can only be terrified of a disease that isn’t very likely to kill you for so long, without massive piles of bodies in the streets reminding them that they live in an actual hellscape.

    Expect this violence to only spread and become worse as the government tries to leverage COVID more and more to justify their police-state tactics. The fact they put a curfew into place is one of the more obviously unrelated COVID tactics they’ve deployed, to be sure. It’s meant to keep people from protesting with all their free time now that the local government has declared them all unemployed and, furthermore, unemployable.

    This was so predictable I predicted it on day one of this nonsense. So I’ll repeat myself: expect it to get much worse unless the local governments actually relent.

    1. Oh, and that reminds me of an interesting fact no one seems to have noticed.

      Get a few thousand protesters together with carte blanche to wear masks in public and why wouldn’t you expect violence? I mean, robbers figured this shit out as soon as everyone was wearing a stage-coach robber bandanna, why didn’t anyone else?

      Feel free to internet search for COVID robberies and delight in how a society that just a few years ago was outlawing face coverings has now made them mandatory. It would be funny if it wasn’t real.

      1. silver lining here. it’s good for foiling the panopticon’s facial recognition at least.

  19. //But imposing one in the face of police protests adds an extra layer of trouble—to enforce it, you need to give police more power. How do you do that without restoking the reason people are protesting in the first place?//

    Stop calling them protestors you stupid fucking cunt. These are organized riots. I hope they burn your fucking house down, Binion. Fucking piece of shit.

    1. Ever since the end of April, when the ‘flatten the curve’ magically disappeared overnight and the ‘public health’ guidelines became semi-permanent, my posts have become littered with profanity. Glad to see the latest media torrent has pushed so many others over the brink as well.

      Welcome to the 2 Minutes Hate, people of America! Left, Right, Libertarian, Progressive, whatever your inclination, the media have a version to get you to the proper level of outrage.

  20. Video about the celebs posting bail for rioters:

    https://twitter.com/damonimani/status/1267204731849576451

  21. Libertarianism doesnt require you to tuck tail when being attacked. What the fuck is this? The same shit that says china can violate every trade deal but we can never respond. Being a bitch has never strengthened anyone.

    1. The answer to the smashers and looters is not police and National Guard. It is A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and as such, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      Short, simple, beautiful. And so perfectly logical, the placement of the responsibility to defend one’s freedom individually and collectively immediately following the codification of the natural rights to think, to assemble and to persuade.

      How sad it is to find that when you give away your freedom for security, you end up with neither? When you expect others to take care of you, you get cops spraying mace out a car window and National Guardsmen launching tear gas at citizens on their own property. Seems like someone could have warned us about that.

      1. Yup. Second amendment. Get your guns, get your posse, get your rooftop Koreans. Yes, you’re mad, but you’re not allowed to steal or destroy my shit because of that.

      2. I agree.
        Wonder what the gun laws are in most of these cities…

  22. I rarely post here. I mostly read the comments and sometimes the “articles.” The comments are always more insightful than the “articles.” It seems that each new writer at “reason” is lower in quality than the previous. Binion is the new low.

    1. If you think the comments are insightful you’re probably violent, and looking for an excuse to express it.

      1. He wasn’t referencing you sweetie.

    2. You missed yesterday’s “Race started in Virginia” article from yesterday? Binion is just near the low.

      1. Yeah, I ranted all over the comment section of that because it was a shockingly low place for that article to reach. And it made it there in one sentence.

  23. “The U.S. already has a major problem with overcriminalization.”

    You think!

  24. Good job, Matt. You turned this place into a swamp. You and trump have something in common, No desire to drain.

    1. Your whining grows more and more impotent, and that makes me laugh.

  25. “The Insurrection Act is brief. It allows the President, at the request of a state government, to federalize the National Guard and to use the remainder of the Armed Forces to suppress an insurrection against that state’s government. It further allows for the President to do the same in a state without the explicit consent of a state’s government if it becomes impracticable to enforce federal laws through ordinary proceedings or if states are unable to safeguard its inhabitants’ civil rights.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrection_Act

    This law dates from 1807, and it was used to put down the Rodney King Riots in 1992.

    This is probably where we need to go right about now. I don’t see why we should expect things to calm down on their own–not when 35 million Americans have lost their jobs over the last two months.

    Sooner or later, this is probably where we’re headed and where we should go.

    1. Umm…just so I’m clear…you’re advocating for the President to put down riots that were directly caused by the decisions of local and state government? That reads like actual tyranny, friend.

      Local Government: Jobs are outlawed! No right to assemble!

      Populace: Fuck that, we’re taking you down.

      President Trump: No, you can’t take them down and we will stop you with force from overthrowing petty tyrants.

      Yeah, not so sure that’s a recipe for reducing violence in the streets although in a weird way it is insurrection. Specifically, insurrection against a tyrannical government.

      Maybe I’m misreading you though, and you mean that Trump should use troops to dethrone the local tyrants? That still isn’t a great look, but at least it would make some amount of sense.

      1. Actually, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights.

        We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have the courts to protect our rights from the police. We have the military to protect our rights from foreign threats. And we have the National Guard to protect our rights from riots.

        1. That isn’t actually an answer. I don’t generally disagree with that statement.

          Who, specifically, should Trump invoke the insurrection act on though? Your implication is he should do so on the people, but it seems to me that local governments world-wide caused this problem through massive over reach.

          I have no proof that the wide-spread rioting all over the world has anything to do with COVID, although the police violence is directly connected to their COVID response.

          This seems to be a case where people would have been outraged before, but under COVID general orders it’s become a symbol of the governments over reach related to their extra-judicial emergency orders.

          That’s probably just my opinion though, maybe people all over the world are indeed just pissed off about this one guy getting killed. For all I know, they are equally angry about protesters disobeying the government orders not to assemble and the government killing a guy even though it’s sort of illogical.

          In mind mind, someone was definitely going to directly be killed because of the quasi-military state that’s gone world-wide. It was inevitable that the government was going to directly kill someone for disobeying the state under these draconian measures.

          Freedom of movement, assembly, right to do business, they have all been casualties of the government response. If people are rioting over a single killing instead of that, maybe we deserve what we get.

          1. You seem to have blown a gasket.

            The foundation of small state libertarianism is that if the government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights.

            We are all obligated to respect each other’s rights. If some people are going around stealing and burning other people’s property, then the government has not only the authority but the obligation to put a stop to it. Ultimately, protecting people’s rights is what makes the government legitimate.

            That is the basis upon which President Trump has the authority to put down riots like this when local government is either unwilling or unable to protect the rights of the people. That was the case in Los Angeles in 1992, and that appears to be the case now.

            Congress in their wisdom–back in 1809–gave the president the constitutional authority to use the National Guard this way. A government that fails to protect the rights of its people has no legitimacy. Using the government to protect people’s rights in harmony with the Constitution, on the other hand, is entirely legitimate.

            Hope that answers your question.

            1. So, yes, issued against the Protesters. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

              1. “So, yes, issued against the Protesters looters, arsonists and thugs who beat up innocent bystanders. That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

                FTFY

            2. Brilliantly said, Ken!

      2. So these riots are about the lockdowns now???

        1. And, for what its worth, I don’t think the federal government should send in troops.
          Let the states handle it themselves

        2. Tangentially, if COVID wasn’t going on the government wouldn’t be using it as an excuse to curtail protests.

          Honestly, this level of ‘protest’ over something like this is literally unprecedented so there’s something else going on. I just can’t be sure what, or if I’m just paranoid.

          1. You might be onto something there.
            I just find it hard to believe that there isn’t a large overlap of the protesters here and people who were crying about selfishness and killing grandma 2 weeks ago

          2. The restrictions of public gatherings is necessary right now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s there not to get, for chrissakes?

        3. Massive unemployment caused by lockdowns = Lots of young men with nothing better to do = more rioters.

          The riots aren’t about the lockdowns, but the lockdowns are making them worse.

  26. The point that these rioters are missing is that you have a right to petition the government for redress of grievances but no right to expect that the government is going to do anything more than laugh in your face and ask you what part of FYTW you don’t understand. You can petition, the government can tell you “no” and if you keep bugging them with your whiny-ass complaints about “muh freedumzzzz!” they will beat your ass and you deserve to have your ass beaten. You have no right to resist, no right to disobey, no right to challenge the authority of your rulers. Who the fuck do you think you are, you peasants?

  27. Meh. I am ready for social justice Thunderdome or Fight Club. Fence off a few acres near each city. Make anyone, civilian or cop, sign a waiver. Have zero tolerance outside the fence (i.e. instant transport to inside the fence). Let everyone who wants to act like an asshole do so. Maybe even give them a few token buildings and vehicles to burn.

  28. Interesting. I had not heard of this case of police putting their knee in a guy’s back or 14 minutes until he died. I wonder why I had not heard one peep about this story until much later. It’s a mystery.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tony-timpa-disturbing-video-shows-dallas-officers-joking-as-they-restrain-man-who-died/

    1. Wrong shade of skin to fit the narrative. Cops kill everyone, some people just come into contact with them more often. Guy was apparently mentally ill though, which apparently doesn’t move the needle surprisingly enough.

      1. Because the motivation isn’t the killing of George Floyd, it isn’t the lockdowns, and it isn’t police authority and accountability: it’s communism and the legtist demand for totalitarian power

    2. the problem is racism. You saw the black cop in the video, right? Racism. QED.

    1. Not a bit. Medicine doesn’t taste good, usually, but the infection is sixty years old. Trump is the Doctor of Democracy. Time to take out the commie trash.

  29. Most Libertarian President Ever wants to outlaw flag burning.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/01/politics/flag-burning-supreme-court-trump/index.html

    1. Fuck off Lying Jeffy.

  30. Can I get a “yay” for federalism and state’s rights, or is this a bad time?

  31. Curfews are unconstitutional.

    Defend yourself from government tyranny.

    1. Looting is unconstitutional, you microcephalic primordial dwarf.

  32. Let’s hurry and disband the cops, things will be much better when The Committee of Public Safety assumes control.

  33. Two things:

    Seattle has announced a city-wide curfew from 6pm to 5am. However, on the Seattle gov website, they brag about how they won’t enforce it. Oh, and it doesn’t apply to people… “experiencing homelessness” with no definition of ‘experiencing homelessness’.

    And B, has anyone noticed that most of these violent riots are being perpetrated by angry white males? I pointed out this uncomfortable fact to some friends, noting that any time someone speaks up about anything even remotely associated with an ideology that could be construed as a millimetre right of center, you’re accused of being an “angry white male”, even if you’re not white.

    After watching a lot of upper-middle class white kids loosely associated with ANTIFA or whatever the “ruckus society” of the 90s has morphed into, I couldn’t help but notice a preponderance of upper middle class, privileged white kids… but on the left.

    Then one of my colleagues helpfully pointed out.. that they have!

    Now I’m going to sit back with a drink and a snack, and watch it all burn.

    1. And she didn’t even try to say it was “white supremacists,” just “white guys from out of town”

      Portland I’d expect.

      I’m with you; the more these assholes pillage and burn the Democratic cities the more likely the election will be a reaction to that. And the more likely Ginsberg will finally die in spite of whatever they’re doing to keep her embalmed and animated, and the sooner we maybe possibly could have another Gorsuch on the USSC to make Roberts irrelevant.

      Such is my hope.

  34. I don’t know, on Saturday night in my apartment near St Paul, when I was hearing gunshots and a few explosions, I certainly didn’t mind staying in. I wonder, are protesters supposed to shoot guns or start things on fire?

    1. P.S. The Twin Cities has hundreds of buildings destroyed or damaged by fire. Was the government supposed to use rainbows and unicorns to defeat the terrorists?

  35. Well what the fuck do you expect? Protesters killed a man in Dallas. They lit up occupied structures in Richmond then blocked the cops and firefighters from reaching the scene. There were kids in those buildings. Do you really expect me to care about the civil liberties of murdering scum? Sorry, wrong guy. The protesters who know how to protest got a Sheriff and his entire crew to march with them. That’s a protest. At this point what are they protesting about? Cop in question has been arrested and charged. This isn’t legit outrage over George Floyd’s death at the hands of a scumbag with a badge. This is political anarchy driven by a bunch of wealthy and powerful people very much aware they can’t beat Trump in November. It’s about an election. It’s about power. And those pulling the strings have no problem with hurting anyone in their path.

  36. Even a cursory reading of Loury, McWhorter, Sowell, Elder, Coleman Hughes will give the LIE to “police brutality.” And here’s a young black woman giving the issue a brief precis: CANDACE OWENS DEBUNKS POLICE BRUTALITY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3sSB0ZNVsg
    And, back in the day, overwhelming law enforcement numbers and professional (but swift) arrests did the job – nary a scintilla of violence and I wonder why the writer couched the article in those terms.

  37. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” ~ Ayn Rand

  38. “Looting and riots in response to the use of violence…”

    Yeah, loads of police violence here in Scottsdale, Arizona where the Peaceful Protesters ™ busted up the shopping mall and liberated the Apple store and some designer jeans. All for Social Justice, to be sure, and in direct response to the well-documented violence of the suburban cops. Well, that sure showed ’em.

  39. Just change your motto to “Free Minds and Free Markets and Free Shit We Looted.”

    Christ, this once good magazine just continues to plumb the depths.

    1. Kure’l it most certainly does.

  40. Putting them down with extreme prejudice…uhh, puts them down. There should not be one single thought or concern for thuggery. You deal with it like you’d deal with a fucking infection. If they don’t like it, shoot them again.

  41. Hubert Smith Go to 22:15 to watch an elderly black American civil rights pioneer explain how he sees the USA at present: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hzQVVV6vLQ

  42. Does common sense no longer exist?

    And I don’t mean just on the streets of our burning cities…. or in the offices of our dithering mayors or pandering police chiefs….not even in the ‘progressive’ mouths of our TV’s Talking Heads — though obviously it is sadly lacking in all those places. But what about some common sense in the pages of a journal entitled “Reason” — is it really too much to ask?

    The author suggests that one of the problems with curfew laws is that they “criminalize behavior that is inherent to civil liberties”. No, they don’t. They don’t criminalize being out in public (a behavior inherent to civil liberty); rather they criminalize being out in public at hours specifically designated as unlawful for a given window of time. And why would a governing body seek to establish short-term curfews? Because, as in the case of Myrtle Beach, the city had received threats of violence and destruction (as had already been seen in countless cities nationwide). A curfew, in such a situation, is common sense as it ‘short-circuits’ mob assembly. Surely this is obvious to both the Myrtle City residents and any casual outside observer?

    On the other hand, objecting to a curfew in the face of nationwide nighttime riots & threats is distinctly not common-sensical.

    Yes, of course, given the law, the much-maligned police will be, once again, called upon to enforce said law. But this is not an addition of “more power” to the police, rather this is simply leveraging the same power the police always have, and that is the power to enforce the law as designated by our elected representatives to provide for the public good.

    There is no question that we have too many laws….so many, in fact, they’re impossible to count. And there is no question that yes, in fact, we have criminalized too many things which historically have existed in that non-legalized middle ground between ‘things you must do’ and ‘things you must not do’. But that is an issue separate and distinct from the establishment of curfews in the face of urban riots.

    Yes, of course, Ms. Kerssen has a legal right to sit on her porch. And yes, the police were wrong to ‘light her up’….but again we must ask: is it commonsensical for anyone to place themselves in the midst of a space (no matter how legally they might be there) which is equally occupied by rioters and squads of police seeking to clear the rioters. No, obviously it is not.

    I may have every legal right to step into a city crosswalk, but I am a fool if I do so while a truck is speeding through the intersection. Yes, the truck driver would be wrong to hit me (and boy would he be in trouble in the courts). But I would be dead….and that means my decision to deliberately step in front of the truck (and then protest, in mid-collision, “But I have a RIGHT to be here!”) would be a very stupid decision. Ms. Kerssen made a stupid, though legally righteous, decision.

    Commonsense should tell us (or anyone who is lucky enough to have some) that engaging in ANY behavior which violates ANY law during a time of national nightttime riots, violence, destruction, and arson is a very very foolish thing to do. Even being in the place where rioting is occurring is a very foolish thing to do…UNLESS the one so choosing somehow really enjoys anarchic violence and the free big-screen TV’s you can have just by smashing a few windows.

    It’s only common sense.

    1. No. Common sense doesn’t exist. These looters are stealing from Nike. Nike, who took the knee with Kaepernick, and still advertise on behalf of racial injustice. And this is how you say thanks??? And if you mention violence/destruction/looting, your priorities aren’t right. If you don’t want violent enforcement, obey the law!

    2. ever those who believe that everything is pre destined look both ways before crossing the street

  43. It is very unsettling to have so many police, semi police, sheriffs, state troopers, homeland security etc., list goes on and on and on. And with macho police behavior fed and stimulated daily by the silly plethora of sadistic cop tv shows and movies, the main characters, mostly little white guys, all of whom are “tough”, and who get “their goods” by being tough. These programs need to be immediately boycotted and hopefully the media clowns will stop producing them.

  44. until all the videos show the prior 10 minutes or more to the video of the cop kneeling on floyd no one s/b commentinmg on what happened. I want to see the 4 cop videos in their entirity and they are not showing them. news media is doing us a dis service in not getting those out on the air.
    as far as curfews :;:; when the looting starts the shooting starts.

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