Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Jackson County Prosecutor Supports Criminal Investigations Over Online Threats To Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
The rhetoric of recent coronavirus regulation protests is reaching a tipping point in some parts of the nation.
Detroit Free Press: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reacts to threats against her, others with another protest looming
Perspective from progressives:
CNN: There's a rebellion brewing and Trump is egging it on
Accordingly, one of the top law enforcement officials in the Kansas City metro and leader of the Democratic Party in Missouri recently offered her perspective regarding online hateration.
Jackson County Prosecutor @jeanpetersbaker Tweeted:
"Some ideologies stir strong emotions and some folks speak out in moments of anger. That causes many to flee from politics, but ... this speech is not okay ... this is not normal ... this is dangerous ... We should expect this speech will cause criminal investigations!"
In the context of this discussion, this isn't really a controversial comment and there aren't any mainstream Republicans who will endorse threats of violence against an elected official. The prosecutor is correct that some of the comments aren't "protected speech" and cross the line.
Recent polling suggests that a majority of Americans disapprove of coronavirus protesters.
Nevertheless . . .
Part of the frustration during the pandemic lockdown stems from historic regulation of 1st Amendment freedoms like restrictions of large gatherings in the name of public health and based on rapidly evolving science and data. In the future, this debate is likely to worsen as crackdowns on the discourse become even more intense and easier to enact given increasingly limited and strictly controlled outlets for political expression.
Developing . . .