By Craig Hastings
I want you to really think about this scenario because it could happen in a city near you! What if; the Illinois State Police were requested by the Urbana Police to help them secure the Federal Court House. The reason for the assist from the Urbana Police was due to rioters and looters pillaging and burning stores on Green Street but also attempting to gain entry into the Federal Court House so to burn it to the ground. Urbana Police are over tasked and under staffed to do both so they stand their ground on Green Street and hand the Federal Court House off to ISP. Sounds like a good plan. Why burn it down; pick a reason. Not that these rioters and looters really care one way or another but, gotta have a cause and any will do. The Illinois State Police being well trained law enforcement professionals take their work seriously and in the course of their duties protecting the Federal CourtHouse they arrest seventy-five people commiting crimes against property and injuries to fellow troopers during the mayhem.
Great work and sound probable cause arrests with positive identification of those arrested at the scene of the crimes. Offenders are jailed, reports are written and submitted to the Champaign County State’s Attorney, injured Troopers are replaced by additional Troopers and this circle of chaos continues for many more nights. Two weeks into the assignment the Illinois State Police learn that the Champaign County State’s Attorney has decided to charge just five or six of the seventy-five arrested by the State Police. (My scenario is not intended to cast any implications of the job Champaign County S/A, Julia Reitz performs as S/A for Champaign County. She has already had to tip her toes into the waters on a smaller scale and appears to have handled it well.) ISP command staff decide to pull their people out of Champaign-Urbana due to what they feel is an inadequate consideration of the prosecution of crimes by the State’s Attorney. ISP Troopers made some arrests during their short stint at the Federal CourtHouse they felt confident were felony crimes and some of those arrests they learned would not be pursued by the State’s Attorney. The State’s Attorney would release a statement to the press that stated she had discovered that some of those arrested for theft, criminal damage to property, and assault on a police officers or other persons were first time offenders and/or their crimes were considered by the S/A’s Office “low level offences” therefore no prosecution would take place at this time.
So you’re sitting somewhere reading this and thinking to yourself or maybe even say out loud in critical tone; “So what, who in the heck cares what happens to a federal court house!? The Fed’s have all the money anyway and so they have to build a new building some day, so what, big deal, move on.” If these are your thoughts and shared verbiage at your coffee clubs then you’ve missed the big white elephant in the room! What about the hundred people that work in the Federal CourtHouse!? Who protects them from physical harm or even death if the property is unprotected? “They should stay home then” you say? So your fix is all of these employees not show up for work and maybe not get paid, maybe lose their health benefits, maybe be forced into foreclosure on their house, maybe get their vehicle repossessed, maybe give up on life all together! And why again? Because of a bunch of clowns all dressed up in black chanting statements they care nothing about in order to justify stealing and destroying property belonging to others.
What’s next? Breaking into your house and my house, beating us up or holding us at gunpoint, then stealing anything a person wants, this criminal then leaves, sets our houses on fire, and drives away in our cars is a crime, several crimes!! This is what is happening in many larger cities in America and the Governors and Mayors of those cities are not doing either enough or anything to stop this violence. The wealthy families in cities like New York, especially New York, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and soon if not already, Chicago, Illinois! These were some of the most adored and respected cities in America that people wanted to live their lives. So much to do, so much to see, so many cuisines from which to feast. Are these pleasures in your life coming to an end? Will we not be able to expect to be safe if we leave home to go do the simple things in life we have come to enjoy and to entertain us?
The definition of a protest needs to be redefined. The language of the meaning needs to be especially specific. Anything out of bounds of the definition needs to be met with serious consequences of the criminal code. Simple well meaning protesters can longer be allowed to continue their peaceful actions when infiltrated by those with criminal intentions. Signs and speech are absolutely expected to be allowed regardless of how the opposition feels. But, when anything is thrown, fire is evident, property destroyed, or property is trespassed the protest must end and the people dispersed. Then, the peaceful and well intentioned protesters should regroup and try again another day but this time police and organizers can plan and prepare for those that might attempt to use the event to promote their criminal agenda. No longer starting today can society allow mob rule to conquer the day. This is exactly what is happening across the country! Mob rule! And the people elected to the offices to control and discourage this activity are not doing anything to stop it. “To the people of these cities, you elected these leaders! Demand they resign.
Pass this on to any of those wealthy families fleeing those large cities you might hear needing a new community to live. Tell them their homes and their families are welcome in Tuscola! Tell them there is no place any more safe and more peaceful than right here. Tell them we have a fantastic educational system available and their children will be safe. Tell them Tuscola businesses have all of the simple necessities they might need for everyday living within a two mile square, two or three minutes travel time! Tell them how neat and orderly Tuscola streets and sidewalks are maintained. Tell them Fire, Police, Ambulance, and Rescue are moments away if needed. Finally, tell them Tuscola intends to grow, but not too much! Tell them Tuscola would welcome more homes in new neighborhoods complete with exotic cars, aircraft, and whatever else they want to bring!
(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)