Friday, June 24, 2005

A New Low for the Inquirer

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Tony Auth keeps meeting the Inquirers low standards with todays editorial cartoon. Background on the incident can be found here.

The Inqy couldn't stop with a cartoon, they needed to print a full editorial:

The fatal heart attack suffered by Philadelphia Police Officer Paris Williams during a scuffle with protesters Tuesday was tragic. But that shouldn't be another excuse for District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham to fire a salvo at Americans' constitutional right to assemble.

Abraham can be relied upon to never miss such an opportunity. Her message - intentional or not - seems to be that the city where America's key freedoms took shape doesn't really believe in that First Amendment stuff.

Let's be clear: Any protester who scuffles with police deserves to be arrested. (That's often their aim.) But Abraham's judgment in lodging felony assault charges against a Canadian man, as well as conspiracy and other lesser charges against four more protesters at the BIO 2005 convention, will be tested by the courts.

Her track record isn't great. When the district attorney took just as tough a line with protesters at earlier events - notably, the 2000 Republican National Convention, and more recently at a small, anti-gay demonstration - the courts knocked down the charges time and again.

A pattern of overcharging protesters who step over the line may be crowd-pleasing. But it gives the city a black eye as a place that squelches dissent.

Whether or not the protesters intended for a cop to die, the fact is that he did indeed die as a result of breaking up a scuffle that the protesters started and the police were forced to attempt to break up.

These are not college kids protesting the Dean because he decided to shut down a frat house. These are trained protesters who travel to every event and they have the goal of creating anarchy. They are worldwide as was evident in Genoa, Italy.

By inciting violence, they had a direct impact on a police officer's death regardless if the man was pumping sludge through his arteries and needed a quadruple bypass. It is not murder and Lynne Abraham is not prosecuting for murder, but they were criminally responsible.

Keep in mind that these "professional" protesters have a goal of forcing the police to act so that they can hurt cops.

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