Protestors Getting Hit By Cars

A researcher has documented 66 separate incidents since May 27.

USA Today (“‘I would be very careful in the middle of the street’: There have been at least 66 vehicle-ramming attacks in US since May 27“):

People running, screaming and shouting words of disbelief. Bodies thrown in the air, lifted onto windshields or trapped under cars and semi-trucks. It’s become a horrifying and familiar scene in recent weeks.

Amid thousands of protests nationwide against police brutality, dozens of drivers have plowed into crowds of protesters marching in roadways, raising questions about the drivers’ motivations.

While witnesses, law enforcement and terrorism experts say that some of the vehicle incidents appear to be targeted and politically motivated, others appear to be situations where the driver became frightened or enraged by protesters surrounding their vehicle.

“There are groups that do want people to take their cars and drive them into Black Lives Matters protesters so that they won’t protest anymore. There’s an element of terrorism there. Is it all of them? No,” said J.J. MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. “I look at it as an anti-protester group of acts, some of which are white supremacist, some not.”

There have been at least 66 incidents of cars driving into protesters between May 27 and July 6, including 59 by civilians and seven by law enforcement, according to Ari Weil, a terrorism researcher at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Threats. Weil began tracking the incidents as protests sprung up in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.

There have been two fatalities — in Seattle and in Bakersfield, California — and at least 24 of the civilian cases have been charged by law enforcement, Weil said.

Many of the incidents were captured in photos or videos shared to social media – two New York police vehicles plowing into demonstrators as the crowd pushes a barricade against one of them, a woman in a black SUV driving through a crowd in Denver, a Detroit police vehicle accelerating away with a man flailing on the hood.

This week, drivers struck protesters in Bloomington, Indiana, and Huntington Station, New York. Similar scenes have played out in Los Angeles, Boston, Tulsa, Tallahassee, and San Jose.

Weil said that, by analyzing news coverage, court documents and patterns of behavior — such as when people allegedly yelled slurs at protesters or turned around for a second hit — he determined that at least 19 of the 59 civilian incidents were malicious and four were not. Weil said he did not have enough information to classify the motives of the remaining 36 incidents.

One of the more “clear-cut” cases of malice, MacNab said, was in early June in Lakeside, Virginia. An “avowed Klansman” drove up to protesters on a roadway, revved his engine and then drove through the crowd, wounding one person, Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement.

The 36-year-old man was “a propagandist of Confederate ideology,” Taylor said. He was later charged with four counts of assault with hate crimes, two counts of felonious attempted malicious wounding and one count of felony hit and run.

“We lived through this in Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017,” Taylor said, referencing when a neo-Nazi plowed his car through a crowd of counterprotesters at a Unite the Right rally, killing Heather Heyer. The driver was sentenced to life in prison on hate crime charges.

Around the same time in Visalia, California, occupants of a Jeep displaying a “Keep America Great” flag hit two protesters who were in the road, causing minor injuries, according to Visalia police. Witnesses said those inside the car were mocking protesters by cupping their ears as if they couldn’t hear their chants. The protesters started chanting profanities and throwing items before they approached the Jeep, which then accelerated, hitting the protesters before driving off.

While acknowledgimg that McNabb, who makes her living documenting white supremacist movements, and Weil, who’s finishing up a masters on terrorist groups, have incentives to play up the role of malice in these cases, this is a disturbing trend. Even granting that we don’t have a baseline for the number of protestors in the streets over the period, 66 incidences of protestors being struck by vehicles is more than one would expect.

The headline warning, “I would be very careful in the middle of the street,” would seem rather obvious. But MacNab follows it with, “There’s a significant amount of people who think that any protester hit in the street has it coming, and that’s a dangerous mindset.”

There’s a lot at work here.

Someone who finds themselves blocked or surrounded by angry protestors is likely to be frightened or frustrated. And there have certainly been incidences where drivers are pulled out of their cars and beaten in the midsts of racial protests.

But, rather clearly, there is a movement out there to encourage violence against the protesters.

In an ideal world, protestors wouldn’t be in the streets at all except with a permit, police barriers, and police protection. But, given the nature of these particular protests, that’s obviously not realistic. And, indeed, at least two of the incidences have been police cars ramming protestors.

UPDATE (0829): This from the American Civil Liberties Union is worth noting:

  • You don’t need a permit to march in the streets or on sidewalks, as long as marchers don’t obstruct car or pedestrian traffic. If you don’t have a permit, police officers can ask you to move to the side of a street or sidewalk to let others pass or for safety reasons.
  • Certain types of events may require permits. These include a march or parade that requires blocking traffic or street closure; a large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or a rally over a certain size at most parks or plazas.
  • While certain permit procedures require submitting an application well in advance of the planned event, police can’t use those procedures to prevent a protest in response to breaking news events.
  • Restrictions on the route of a march or sound equipment might violate the First Amendment if they are unnecessary for traffic control or public safety, or if they interfere significantly with effective communication to the intended audience. [emphases mine]

Even the ACLU acknowledges the need to keep the roadways open.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Crime, Race and Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    For some people, being inconvenienced in any way shape or form is just unconscionable. “How dare you force me to make a 4 block detour to get where I want to go!” For others, it is just a great opportunity to play Grand Theft Auto in real life.

    And thanx for pointing this out:

    And, indeed, at least two of the incidences have been police cars ramming protestors.

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  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Not wishing to oversimplify, but when you have a situation where crowds of people blocking the street are preventing crowds of people in cars from getting to where they want to go, this is eventually going to happen. You accept that risk when you protest in the street.

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  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    The driver of the car that hit 2 in Seattle(?) was indicted yesterday on charges of vehicular homicide. That may dampen enthusiasm for running down protesters.

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    It’s also worth mentioning that there is a culture of violence associated with racist people and the societies they create. They seem unable to live by modern social norms but instead need frequent releases for their atavistic outbursts.

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  5. Cheryl Rofer says:

    I are confused. The headline talks about autonomous cars, but the text is about malevolent people.

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  6. JohnMcC says:
  7. Cheryl Rofer says:

    @JohnMcC: I make the point because in these days, there are too many headlines and even articles removing agency from malevolent people. As I would have hoped you could see from the first sentence, grammar was not my point.

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I are confused. The headline talks about autonomous cars, but the text is about malevolent people.

    As the text makes rather clear, there are lot of incidents (66), only a subset of which are confirmed cases of malevolence.

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  9. Cheryl Rofer says:

    @James Joyner: But in each case, the car has a driver.

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  10. JohnMcC says:

    “If any demonstrator ever lays down in front of my car, it’ll be the last car he ever lays down in front of.” George Wallace (found on ‘AZQuotes.com and attributed to a speech covered by PBS’s American Experience in 2000)

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  11. Tyrell says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Not only that, but some hoodlums have attacked the people in the cars and tried to pull them out. They do not have the right to injure people or damage their cars. The car drivers have every right to be driving on public roads. Who in the world expects them to sit there and risk getting injured or killed? Remember, the police have been defunded and are just “observers”. The main stream news is, of course, giving only one side of this story. In some places, EMT and fire trucks have been blocked or delayed. They invented these wonderful things called sidewalks. These people should stay on the sidewalks, or march in some abandoned, unused parking lots. People are trying to get to work, medical appointments, or to stores. They have every right to do that.

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  12. JohnMcC says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Ma’am, I have a peculiar and sometimes unhelpful habit of joking at bad situations. It was an unserious comment and I meant nothing negative. Please forgive the meaningless diversion.

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  13. Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Hey, gives us a break. It’s 0700 CDT. I have only one cup of coffee in me.

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  14. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Not wishing to oversimplify, but when you have a situation where crowds of women are showing flesh in front of horny dudes, eventually some are going to get raped. Women accept that risk when they don’t cover themselves up in the street.

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  15. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    Weak analogy. The last time that I checked, showing flesh (whatever that means 🙄 ) isn’t illegal. Blocking a street or highway is. The women “showing flesh” (again 🙄 ) might be aware of the potential consequences, but they arguably aren’t intent on motivating men to rape them. It’s kind of difficult to argue that somebody standing in a street doesn’t intend to put themselves in front of moving vehicles.

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  16. Liberal Capitalist says:

    The GOP culture has become one of “own teh libs” and “inflict pain on others (so I can smirk)”.

    Following the president’s July 4th speech, we will likely see more of this, as those who no longer agree are evil and the loyal are called to battle.

    “There is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance,” Trump proclaimed to supporters who came out to see him in spite of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the United States. “This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution,” the president said, before repeatedly going on to compare himself and his supporters to Patriots during the American Revolution—and protesters to members of the British Army.

    Speaking as if preparing his political supporters for battle, he said, “Just as patriots did in centuries past, the American people will stand in their way, and we will win, and win quickly.”

    “Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is to end America,” he said of the “radical left” who he claimed is intent on “indoctrinating our children.”

    “We will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people,” he said.

    (source: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-uses-mount-rushmore-event-to-sic-supporters-on-evil-protesters)

    I wonder when the rocket launchers come out? After all with all those evil-doers, 2nd amendment, stand your ground, feel threatened, etc.

    Boom.

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  17. SKI says:

    @HarvardLaw92: actually it is illegal not to yield to pedestrians- even if they aren’t in a crosswalk so …

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  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @SKI:

    Actually not necessarily the case. The bulk of case law assigns negligence on the part of pedestrians who cross outside of crosswalks. Likewise, 48 out of 50 states impose a statutory burden on pedestrians to yield to vehicles outside of crosswalks (the other two tend to do so at the local level). I can whip up a quick state by state analysis of that if you’d find it useful.

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  19. KM says:

    Someone who finds themselves blocked or surrounded by angry protestors is likely to be frightened or frustrated. And there have certainly been incidences where drivers are pulled out of their cars and beaten in the midsts of racial protests.

    Seems to me this is the same mindset as “I feared for my life” justifying any shooting. Unless you are in ACTUAL danger, you don’t get to preemptively harm another human being. Thinking you *might* be or that things are going not so great doesn’t excuse vehicular homicide. Being scared doesn’t mean you can mow people down. Also, WHY are you in danger? Did you need to be there, could you have avoided it or did you deliberately go where protesters were because you could? What happened to the legal obligation of yielding for pedestrians?

    I keep hearing “well they shouldn’t have been in the street” as a weak rebuttal. My response is “why are you driving down where there’s a protest?” I mean, they’re not hard to miss since they tend to consist of tons of people who might be in the damn street. A prudent driver, perhaps fearing being pulled from their car, might decide to back up and take a different route. Plan ahead if you know protests are happening, perhaps? Every time I hear about one of these incidents my first thought is “well, did you take appropriate measures to not get caught up by the crowd?” Much like with guns, there’s a layer of obligation on the operator of a car to avoid pedestrians and to accept that they need to give in situations where they might not be in the wrong (kids running in the street, mindless phone watchers jaywalking, etc). This is no different – you are operation a multi-ton machine capable of killing, you can freaking take the back roads to avoid killing someone with it even if they are blocking traffic!

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  20. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Actually not necessarily the case. The bulk of case law assigns negligence on the part of pedestrians who cross outside of crosswalks.

    You’ve changed, man. Even your legal analysis is weak nowadays.

    If you can reasonably avoid a collision, you can’t just plow into a pedestrian because you have the right of way.

    Absent a genuine accident, standing in the street is by definition insufficient provocation to get hit by some asshole driver.

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  21. SKI says:

    @HarvardLaw92: In situations which are caused by negligence, yeah – though a comparative state may still apportion. In cases with a last clear chance or intentional act, I don’t think that is correct.

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  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    The legal burden with respect to avoiding collisions outside of crosswalks falls on the pedestrian, not the driver. Drivers have a burden to avoid pedestrians when possible. Pedestrians have a statutory burden not to be in the street at all unless they’re in a crosswalk. Bottom line is that vehicles have the right-of-way outside of crosswalks, not pedestrians. The burden of avoiding a collision falls on the pedestrian. Drivers in many states have no statutory duty to avoid pedestrians in places where they have no reasonable expectation that pedestrians will be there (i.e. outside of crosswalks). We won’t even digress into the various ways in which SYG laws can be applicable her as well.

    Don’t call a legal analysis weak just because you happen not to like it. If by “changed”, you mean I disagree (and will disagree) with you more often than I used to, you’re absolutely correct.

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  23. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Drivers have a burden to avoid pedestrians when possible.

    Drivers in many states have no statutory duty to avoid pedestrians in places where they have no reasonable expectation that pedestrians will be there

    That’s what I said.

    And if you had taken a second to think about what YOU were saying, you would have immediately realized that intent on behalf of the driver negates the negligence on behalf of the pedestrian.

    You aren’t really thinking anymore, just doing some lazy drive-by commenting. It’s sad.

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  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @SKI:

    Sure, as I said the bulk of case law assigns negligence, not all of it. That’s a matter for civil juries however.

    48 out of 50 states impose a statutory burden on the pedestrian to yield to drivers unless he/she is in a crosswalk. The statutory burden they impose on drivers is to yield to pedestrians within crosswalks. If they want to protest in a crosswalk and get hit, I’ll agree that the driver was in the wrong, otherwise, if they’re blocking streets they have no legal right to block, they take their chances.

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  25. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    A child running out into the road between parked cars is also legally in the wrong. Ain’t gonna save you if you kill that kid that went chasing their ball without looking – you should have been in control of your vehicle and been able to stop. Their fault or negligent behavior doesn’t give you license to kill or main because you don’t want to take proper safety actions, only a legal fig leaf to prevent you from being charged with murder or the like. They’re not supposed to be there, true – YOU are still to do everything you can to NOT hit them by law.

    There was nothing accidental about any of this. The idiot drivers in question have done nothing of the sort to prevent collisions and deliberately plowed into the crowds, sometimes *backing up* to make sure to do additional damage on camera. Several have driving down blocked off avenues, marked by wooden blockades or similar to indicate temporary no thru-traffic. I’ve yet to see an instance where the driver made a good faith attempt to leave, been prevented from doing so and been attacked to the point they needed to escape. Most approached the crowd on purpose rather than taking an alternate route simple because they COULD. That’s intention, plain and simple.

    @James:

    Even the ACLU acknowledges the need to keep the roadways open.

    Roadways are open, just not that particular one at the moment. Seriously, what’s so damn hard about taking a different path to where you need to go just once? It’s like the mask-holes – they don’t want to be inconvenienced in the slightest so they’ll gladly risk your life on purpose to do what they want. I understand the general point you and the ACLU are trying to make but really, it’s a temporary inconvenience at best. Now if they were camping out on the highways, it’d be another story but everyone should know at least 3 ways of getting to where they need to go specifically for issues like this.

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  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    Actually, it isn’t. “where possible” means “when pedestrians aren’t where they aren’t supposed to be. If you step out into the street and get hit, its on you.

    That “places where they have no reasonable expectation that pedestrians will be there” means “outside of crosswalks”.

    Look, I get that you support these folks blocking traffic because you think their cause is noble. That’s fine. I disagree with that viewpoint, but I have no condemnation of you for believing it. We simply disagree on a philosophical matter.

    That does not, however, change the law. They’re protesting in a place they have no legal right to be protesting in – a place which the law, in fact, debars them from being in – where they know there is a heavy risk of being struck by an automobile. By breaking the law and choosing to stand in the street despite being aware of the risk, they accept that risk and the potential consequences. Just how it is friend.

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  27. SKI says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Well, they are certainly considering criminal charges when you have intentional acts:

    The city sent out a press release about the incident Tuesday, saying BPD is investigating the people in the car.

    “The BPD is proceeding as swiftly as possible to ensure that a thorough investigation is completed and presented to the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office so a determination can be made regarding the appropriate criminal charges to be filed,” the press release said.

    He had been helping direct traffic away from the dispersing protesters when the red car came into the intersection of Fourth and Walnut streets. Stewart said that one of the people directing traffic spoke to the driver, who witnesses Milo Hicks and Tess Given said was a white woman in her 40s. Stewart said the driver ignored the alternate route suggestion, and someone else said they saw the driver mouth, “I’m gonna run them over” before the driver began driving the vehicle into the people directing the flow of traffic, knocking over an electric scooter.

    He said a man, also identified by Hicks and Given as white and in his 40s, then got out of the passenger side and threw the scooter. Mottinger, who was later thrown off the car, was standing in front of the car with her hands on the hood at this point, and Stewart said he heard the driver rev the car’s engine so he stood in front with her. He does not personally know her.

    The driver then hit the gas, carrying both of them on the hood of the car up Walnut Street at a high speed, running three red lights.

    It isn’t just civil claims but criminal charges for intentionally ramming folks.

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  28. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @HarvardLaw92: No he means nonsense like this:

    The last time that I checked, showing flesh (whatever that means ) isn’t illegal. Blocking a street or highway is. The women “showing flesh” (again ) might be aware of the potential consequences, but they arguably aren’t intent on motivating men to rape them. It’s kind of difficult to argue that somebody standing in a street doesn’t intend to put themselves in front of moving vehicles.

    It not only conflates two completely distinct issues (self-defense against lawbreaking vs. the largely moral question of whether you can complain about an outcome that you could expect to result from your actions), it also is bad on the merits. While the protestors intended to stand in the street, they did not intend to get run over just like the woman intended to dress that way but did not intend to get raped.

    A few months ago you’d never have posted a half-assed reply like that. You were precise, rational and cutting.

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  29. Teve says:

    A driver taking no care to avoid running down people in the street would be the part of law and order where Jack McCoy gets to shout Depraved Indifference!

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  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    Seriously, what’s so damn hard about taking a different path to where you need to go just once?

    What’s so difficult about protesting where you’re supposed to protest instead of breaking the law?

    We could go round and round about this all day and never move an inch, I suspect. The law is clear here. I don’t have sympathy for people who violate it.

    If you intentionally target someone in the street with a vehicle, you should be charged *unless* you are in a situation where you have a legitimate rationale for fearing for your life. If you are protesting in the street, you should be arrested.

    That doesn’t change the basic concept: when you stand in a street with the deliberate intent of irritating and provoking other people, you really don’t subsequently have any leg to stand on with regard to complaint if those people react negatively to the provocation.

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  31. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “otherwise, if they’re blocking streets they have no legal right to block, they take their chances.”

    So you’re now endorsing the death penalty for jaywalking?

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  32. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    I think we’re all talking past each other. This conversation reminds me of something I learned in driving school – namely, that since tampering with the mail is a federal crime, mail trucks get priority over an ambulance with its lights on at a 4-way stop. Now, in real life, the mail truck is going to let that ambulance go first, even if they have legal right of way. You’d have to be a real ass to delay someone’s urgent medical care just because the law says you can go first.

    You are right – legally, pedestrians shouldn’t be in the road like that. However, this is where letter of the law meets reality. Most drivers will not intentionally run someone over and will do something (possibly illegal) to avoid hitting them because they’re not jerks nor killers. Most drivers, upon seeing a mass of people in the street, go “nope!” and go around. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Just because the protesters are in the wrong doesn’t mean you can mow them down. Again, this is something easily understood by the vast majority of humanity – temporary inconvenience for you is better then the hassle that will happen upon engaging. Anyone who chooses to risk a human life because the letter of the law favors them automatically has malicious intention aka they can “get away with it”. The government back when it was sane realized letting people run over others due to legal technicalities is a bad thing; it was only with the rise of the alt-right that we started seeing this crap get legal cover.

    Again, I equate this to duty to retreat. Yeah, Stand Your Ground now give you more cover but not nearly what people think it does. You simply cannot attack another human being without just cause and “they’re not supposed to be there” in lieu of actual danger isn’t one of them. As the owner of something that can kill, you have the duty to not do that unless you have to. None of these drivers had to, @Harvard – they WANTED to.

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  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    I gave his comment the degree of effort in reply that it merited.

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  34. SKI says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    If you intentionally target someone in the street with a vehicle, you should be charged *unless* you are in a situation where you have a legitimate rationale for fearing for your life.

    OK, we are in agreement – and the question of “legotomate fear” is an affirmative defense that can be used during a trial (or by the prosecutors in assessing proprietorial discretion), it is not an absolute bar to being charged in almost all situations.

    What’s so difficult about protesting where you’re supposed to protest instead of breaking the law?

    If you are protesting in the street, you should be arrested.

    These claim declare yourself on the side of Bull Connor. Protesting authority isn’t supposed to be quiet and demure. It can’t be effective that way. Nor, IMO, is such a view moral.

    Public safety should be maintained but the rights of the people to protest must not be infringed – even if it inconveniences you.

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  35. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    None of these drivers had to, @Harvard – they WANTED to.

    That’s your subjective opinion. I’ve seen video of people beating on occupied vehicles. In that scenario, I have no problem with the driver accelerating away, even if doing so means harming pedestrians.

    You’re still sidestepping the basic point: If these people were not in the street to begin with, where they have no right to be, they wouldn’t get hit by vehicles that have every right to be there. The instigator of all of this – the initial act that caused every act following it – was the choice to walk in to the street.

    At what point do we acknowledge that adults made adult choices and therefore accept the adult consequences of their choice?

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  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @SKI:

    These claim declare yourself on the side of Bull Connor. Protesting authority isn’t supposed to be quiet and demure. It can’t be effective that way. Nor, IMO, is such a view moral.

    What is “moral” is, and essentially always must be, a question of individual rationalizations and is unavoidably subjective. I have no care, at all, about the morality or amorality of something that doesn’t concern me. I’m just saying that I have no sympathy for people – any people – who willfully choose to put themselves into harms way, then complain about being harmed.

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  37. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    You do love the appeal to extremes. Seems to be a consistent tactic.

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  38. James Joyner says:

    @SKI:

    Public safety should be maintained but the rights of the people to protest must not be infringed – even if it inconveniences you.

    On a moral basis, we’re in agreement. If I’m suddenly surrounded by an angry mob and legitimately feel my life and/or that of my family is threatened, I’ll do whatever is necessary to protect us. But I’d obviously do whatever I could to avoid being in that situation.

    That said, denying protesters the right to block traffic is not an “infringement” on their speech. We have SCOTUS decision after SCOTUS decision upholding reasonable “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech and assembly.

    The ACLU, again:

    III. A. Blocking traffic and entrances

    Protesters do not have a First Amendment right to block pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or to prevent entry and exit from buildings. For example, a federal court recently held that the Chicago police did not violate the First Amendment by arresting protesters who were impeding a heavy flow of pedestrian traffic on sidewalks near Chicago’s Soldier Field, and who disobeyed a police order to step off the sidewalk and onto the immediately adjacent gravel. Likewise, a Chicago ordinance prohibits intentional obstruction of vehicle traffic.

    Indeed, the general public has a right to freedom of movement that police must protect. For example, to address widespread unlawful blockades of the entrances to reproductive healthcare facilities, Congress enacted the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, which prohibits the use of force, threats, or obstructions to interfere with access to such facilities.

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  39. Tyrell says:

    @KM: When there are 10k runs, Crop Walks, and other events, some roads are blocked off – for a certain length of time. The organizers have to apply for a permit, pay the police, and pay for cleanup.
    There are laws about impeding traffic. I knew a man who got a ticket for driving a backhoe on the interstate.
    Mask holes:I did cut some small holes in my mask. I have had two nose surgeries to straighten it (neighborhood football games got rough). It is very sensitive to any pressure.

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.

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  41. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92 :

    You’re still sidestepping the basic point: If these people were not in the street to begin with, where they have no right to be, they wouldn’t get hit by vehicles that have every right to be there. The instigator of all of this – the initial act that caused every act following it – was the choice to walk in to the street.

    I’m not side-stepping the point as I’ve acknowledged they have no right to be there. My point is that is doesn’t warrant a death sentence because someone’s banging on your damn car. Oh, they scratched your paint? Oh, they freaked you out? Whoops, that means they should die! Property and convenience are worth more then human life – that’s the American way…. or rather, certain American’s way.

    What this seems to be coming down to is values. You are placing a premium on right of way and legal principles- that drivers have the right to drive down a street unimpeded whenever they please and damn whomever is in the way outside a crosswalk. I am placing a premium on human life – it might piss me off to take an extra 20 mins to take an alternate route but there’s no blood on my hands. I literally do not give a damn if they have the right to be in the street or not since it’s not worth it to hurt someone over this. It’s clear you feel differently.

    Stop side-stepping *my* point, please: disproportional actions (mowing someone down for smacking your car or blocking your way) leading to injury or death are unacceptable if alternatives are available. Just because someone instigates doesn’t mean you escalate – in fact, the duty to de-escalate is being studiously ignored by you. I acknowledge they are wrong to be there so can you acknowledge it’s wrong to run over someone if you can possibly avoid it?

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  42. KM says:

    @Tyrell:
    What type of mask are you using? Get the one that’s triangle shaped, not a typical surgeon’s mask. It comes to a point a little bit away from your face and can be pushed out a bit further / shaped with pipe cleaners. It leave a little gap at the bottom you can leave open or cover with gauze for extra protection. You’d look a little bit like a bird with a large beak but have more breathing room.

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  43. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Which is a matter for G-d to eventually unravel. I have no doubt that he/she will do so.

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  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    so can you acknowledge it’s wrong to run over someone if you can possibly avoid it?

    I’d change “possibly” to “reasonably”, and then we’d be in agreement.

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  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    That’s a weak, bullshit answer and you know it. You’re an observant Jew arguing that law technically allows people to be maimed or killed, so have at it? Seriously? Let God sort it out?

    Has your account been hacked? I don’t know what life trauma or perhaps isolation effect has occurred, but you are not the man you used to be. A Jew arguing that the law technically lets neo-Nazis run people over in the streets? I’ve bent over backward to cut you slack, but at this point, when you’ve abandoned decency as well as your own religious principles, fuck you.

    James needs to take a look at your data, because either your account is now being run by @JKB or you’ve lost the plot.

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  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I said nothing of the sort. I responded to an emotionalism with disregard. I’m not particularly fond of kriah and pearl clutching as debate.

    In other words “nice try, but I’m not interested in being drug down that road”.

    While we’re on the subject, who the fuck are you to “cut me slack”? Fuck yourself, arrogant prick …

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  47. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I was going to ask HL92 for clarification here, but realized this conversation has blown up to 46 comments since I last loaded it. I assume this is due to it degenerating into sniping and carping back and forth so I’m just going to take a pass on this thread….

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: True, but if we acknowledge, or worse yet focus our attention on, the fact that cars mostly do not move absent drivers, then, we will have to consider motivations all around. Better to try to sell autonomous cars.

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  49. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I know you’re not particular religious to put it mildly but thank you for bring this up. Spirituality, morality, ethics – call it what you will but it’s forming a huge part of my reactions and I suspect it would for many. The choice to mow someone down is a dark one. As @James noted above, it’s obvious that a reasonable person would do whatever they could to avoid being in that situation. Now, I know that’s not always going to be the case – you could walk out of a 10-hr shift in the OR to find a protest developed around your downtown hospital and you had no way of knowing. You might have parked your car in a garage that’s now in the middle of protest several streets wide with no way out. That sucks but still no reason to run over people. Treat it like a snowstorm – you’re trapped, you hate it, it’s not fair but attempting to leave it only going to make it worse for you in the long run. Settle in, grip and complain but you’re not putting anyone, including yourself, at risk. It’s utterly immoral to place yourself intentionally in a situation that could result in a choice between killing another and saving yourself if you can avoid it. That the law gives lip service to your actions doesn’t excuse what it is – the legal choice is not always the ethical or correct one.

    I cannot morally quantify or justify anything short of imminent, unavoidable serious injury or death that would allow running over a protester. Not damage to my car, not freaking out me or my family, not worry or “fear for my life”. Actual, honest to god, they’re-breaking-the-window-or-opening-the-door threat. In the videos we’ve seen pedestrians hassle the car but think about it – they are fearing for THEIR lives. Here’s a vehicle, deliberately driving into their midst and offer up a threat. What reasonable driver sees a group of people and goes “yeah, they’re breaking the law. I’m going through”? What ethical person chooses their technical legal right over the safety and lives of others? There’s a reason this tactic is associated with the right lately- “personal freedumbs” is more important to them then a bunch of strangers in their way. Wanna bet if a liberal “feared for their lives” when alt-right protests start harassing the car that they’d shoot at the approaching vehicle and claim self-defense from the homicidal driver…. or that FOX would be backing them up?

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  50. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “If these people were not in the street to begin with, where they have no right to be, they wouldn’t get hit by vehicles that have every right to be there”

    In Seattle the other evening, a driver went the wrong way up a ramp then squeezed past three police cars there to block the roadway, then accelerated and drove into a crowd of protesters, killing a young woman in her 20s and seriously injuring another.

    Many people call this murder. Will you say it’s the victim’s fault?

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  51. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “You do love the appeal to extremes. Seems to be a consistent tactic.”

    I do appreciate people who are willing to contemplate the outcomes of their preferred beliefs.

    It’s pretty clear from a history of posting that you prioritize order over a lot of other things. I just wonder how far your desire for order extends. For instance, had you stayed in New York you might have seen Park Avenue filled with protesters in a line a couple miles long — do you believe that a driver should have had the right to drive though this crowd at any moment because they had made the choice to be in the streets?

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  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    In Seattle the other evening, a driver went the wrong way up a ramp then squeezed past three police cars there to block the roadway, then accelerated and drove into a crowd of protesters, killing a young woman in her 20s and seriously injuring another.

    Many people call this murder. Will you say it’s the victim’s fault?

    I’ll call it murder and assert that if they hadn’t been in the street, they’d both likely still be alive. There is more than enough culpability to go around.

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  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    do you believe that a driver should have had the right to drive though this crowd at any moment because they had made the choice to be in the streets?

    Sure, at 5mph, just to piss them off. 🙂

    You’re absolutely correct though. I do not like disorder. I like rules. I tend not to like people who don’t like rules.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @drj: Okay, riddle me this guys. Washington State law defines (or at least used to when I was younger) a crosswalk as anyplace where a pedestrian can be assumed to want to cross the street AND permits police to cite pedestrians for jaywalking when not crossing at marked cross walks (flat earth luddite was cited and sent to safety school for jaywalking back in the day). Which one is right? 😉

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  55. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92 :

    You’re absolutely correct though. I do not like disorder. I like rules. I tend not to like people who don’t like rules.

    I can respect this – rules are the basis of society, after all. There’s no shame to prefer the structure they provide and disdaining those who chose to ignore them.

    I am of the opinion however that the greater overriding principle of preserving human life and safety takes precedent over existing contradiction rules. I disdain rules lawyers and those who cling to technicalities to “win” instead of obey the principle upon which the rule is based. Laws and rules are flawed because language is flawed – the concept is more important then faulty wording. In other words, the ultimate rule is people first, legalese second. Rules should have a point and be beneficial; when they do more harm then good, they’ve failed to serve their purpose. In cases like this, the rule should be to default to primum non nocere or that which does the least harm. Bad protesters – stay out of the street as a guideline but run them over and face homicide charges. The reason why pedestrians get the right of way is the car is the more dangerous of the two and should be under control at all times. Choosing to exercise that control to cause harm is the greater rule being broken in this case since it goes against the majority of automotive regulatory logic.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I think we’re all talking past each other.

    Indeed, and yet the discussion continues for another 15 or so comments by my rough count scrolling down to post this. Hmmm…

    @MarkedMan: Smart move! 😛

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  57. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It doesn’t, actually. RCW 46.04.160 defines a crosswalk as:

    … the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.

    That verbiage dates from 1961.

    The jaywalking part is accurate. They cover that in RCW 46.61.240

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  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Blah blah blah. You’ve changed dramatically. It’s not just what you argue, it’s how, and the frequency.

    You are behaving very atypically, irrationally, belligerently. There’s a deep well of anger in you now, and you no longer have the self-discipline to deal with it.

    Either you’re in the middle of a bad divorce or you’re being impersonated, and not convincingly.

    A devout Jew who responds to the Talmud with, let God sort it out. Nah.

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  59. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    My biggest gripe is that – as usual – a simple disagreement about finite concept X gets turned into a free for all by people who take X and extrapolate it into X^30967.

    Do I want people getting run over by vehicles? Do I encourage it? No, and frankly I’m somewhat disgusted that many here took it upon themselves in their rush to judgment (Flambe the Disagreer) to presume that I ever would. I’m not surprised, mind you – extremists don’t like being disagreed with – but I’m disgusted nonetheless.

    Do I feel any sympathy for people clogging up a street who get run over by vehicles? No, and frankly I have no problem owning that one. I’m not really a very sympathetic/empathetic guy under the best of circumstances. Somebody putting themselves at risk of harm (however noble you guys might think that act to be) isn’t even close to the best of circumstances.

    Short version: I don’t want them (or anybody) to be hit by a car, but I also won’t shed any tears if/when they are. I won’t shed any tears for the driver either if they hit someone deliberately but could have avoided it. The whole situation was avoidable, and self-imposed misery doesn’t merit sympathy.

    I’ll wait to see who turns that sentiment into being a Nazi …

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  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Never mind.

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  61. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There’s a deep well of anger in you now, and you no longer have the self-discipline to deal with it.

    Have you ever known me NOT to be angry where the subject of unruly lefty protestors is concerned? I hate those people with the fury of a nova. I’m sure that my saying so is no sort of shock to anyone. I also won’t apologize for it or filter it.

    I’m quite composed, and arguing quite at length, on other threads. This subject, and the sentiments it invokes among others, doesn’t merit much more than sniping and contempt.

    A devout Jew who responds to the Talmud with, let God sort it out. Nah.

    I thought it was shitty of you to go there in the first place. I rhetorically flipped you off in response.

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  62. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Based on the limited tools available to me, I can verify that it’s the same email account that’s been associated with 6000-odd comments going back to 2012 and the non-static IP address is associated with the same major provider.

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  63. Han says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Fuck yourself, arrogant prick …

    Here. Have a mirror…

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  64. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m not sure whether to be grateful for the validation or incensed that Reynolds suggestion of Gestapo tactics was taken seriously …

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  65. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92 :
    I think it’s how you are wording it that’s getting you flak for… well, seeming heartless when what you are trying to convey is that you believe actions have unpleasant consequences whether you like it or not. As God stated in Bruce Almighty: “You can’t kneel down in the middle of a highway and live to talk about it, son.” If your stance was we shouldn’t shield people from the inevitable outcome of playing in traffic, that’s one thing and a very defensible point. Words like “not gonna shed a tear” tend to paint you in a negative light that detracts from your argument because now it’s a value judgment on life instead of “don’t do something dumb”.

    To be fair, if you are expressing no sympathy for something tragically avoidable and recognize you are not particular emphatic, you really shouldn’t be expecting empathy for your point of view. It’s sort of ironic that you are disgusted with us not having sympathy for your premise of having no sympathy for folks being run over – you ask for what you are not willing to give. It may valid argument but not going to win over a crowd nor should it. Isn’t that the point of debate, though? To take an unpopular view you hold and argue for it even though you know it may not gonna win you any admirers? I mean, isn’t that why we’re all here anyways…. other then to waste time instead of doing work?

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  66. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    No no. I’m disgusted at the way certain, shall we say, passionate people take an argument and expand it via appeal to extremes to encompass that which was never said.

    It’s how “I don’t feel sorry for them, they’re breaking the law” gets turned into “OMFG, you support the death penalty for jaywalking!!!!”.

    That isn’t debate. It’s an attempt to shout down WrongThink.

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  67. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Han:

    Thank you 🙂

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  68. James Joyner says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Heh. Multiple regulars have questioned on multiple posts now whether you’re the same HL92 who’s been around for years. I can’t verify changes in attitudes (or latitudes) but I can verify that you’re posting from the same “account” (as it were).

    FWIW, your writing style and ideological stances seem the same as it always has to me. But you do seem a bit snarkier of late.

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  69. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m not as sweet as I used to be 🙂

    Legitimately I allow a few people here to get under my skin when I shouldn’t. This particular area (protestors, the general sense of adulation for them expressed around here, and my sense of loathing for them) never mixes well.

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  70. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: ” It’s an attempt to shout down WrongThink.”

    With all due respect, bullshit.

    Since it’s my comment you’re using as an example, I can assure you I’d never waste my time attempting to “shut you down.” I’d have to be an idiot to think I could stop you from talking — assuming that was even what I wanted. As the man said, you don’t waste words, you use them all.

    You state a position, and then your are stunned to your loafers that people react. And clearly we must all be some kind of evil cult, because when you tell your peers at the club that you have no sympathy for “that kind of person” being horribly killed, they all nod and smile. So if we’re not applauding the crystalline brilliance of your wisdom, we must be oppresive lefty fascists who won’t be happy until you kneel.

    Maybe you could take a breath and just consider that not everyone agrees with you. Not everyone believes that rigid order is always more important than human life. Some even believe that some disorder is necessary to bring about change — and some people also believe that just because the system is perfectly aligned to the interests of a rich, white, connected lawyer, it may not be equally so for others. And some get offended when someone who is clearly intelligent and able to speak quite eloquently on a number of subjects seems to turn sociopathic when it comes to the lives of the tens of millions of people of whom he disapproves.

    I do, however, appreciate the laugh you gave us when, after accusing anyone who disagrees with you of being AN EXTREMIST!!! you went on to explain how you hate “lefty protesters” with a hate like a supernova. Nope, no extremes there…

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  71. JohnMcC says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Few observations in a non-hostile state of mind: One is the Seattle situation in which the fatal automobile was driving the wrong way on an interstate at high speed after driving past 3 police cars that were apparently there for the purpose of stopping traffic — sounds like the ‘demonstration’ was essentially the same as a parade. What would keep any fool from running down the Christmas Parade and claiming he had the same legal defense you’re citing?

    Second is that 60some years ago the Maryland state drivers handbook stated unequivocally that “Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.”

    Third is that here in St Pete, in residential and park-filled neighborhoods it is amazingly common for various critters to be crossing the road in traffic. Turtles migrate pond to pond. Ducks lead ducklings in wonderful little chains going here and there. You NEVER see their splattered remains; it’s almost a matter of civic pride that we all stop and patiently wait. No one even blows their horns. It’s citizenship and it’s humanity. No law required.

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  72. SKI says:

    @James Joyner:

    That said, denying protesters the right to block traffic is not an “infringement” on their speech. We have SCOTUS decision after SCOTUS decision upholding reasonable “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech and assembly.

    #1 – Edmund Pettus Bridge says “hi”.

    #2 – I really don’t care about “legal” when it comes to protest. Lots of things are “legal” but profoundly immoral and deserving of protest. Especially when we are talking about protesting government/police misconduct.

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  73. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Speak of the devil …

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  74. Mister Bluster says:

    testA

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  75. Tyrell says:

    @KM:
    If I go out here on the highway blocking traffic, a few things are going to happen. The least of which is getting arrested. Causing a pileup. Getting smashed by an 18 wheeler.
    How about my rights?

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  76. Monala says:

    @KM: I shared this story on the Ahmaud Arbery thread, but it applies here, too. About two decades ago, after a very bad day, I found myself unable to move through a stop-sign intersection because it was blocked, not by protesters, but by a kid riding in circles and popping wheelies on his bike. I honked; he laughed and gave me the finger.

    This went on for about ten minutes, as I grew more and more furious, and vehicles began to pile up around the intersection, all honking at the stupid kid. Finally, I was fed up, so I took my foot off the brake and let my car roll into the intersection. My plan was to get really close to the kid and brake just before hitting him, hoping that would scare him enough to make him leave. As I was doing this, two big guys got out of vehicles behind me and started running toward the kid, and I think it was them, not me, that scared the kid off.

    When I recounted this story to a lawyer friend, she remarked that it was a good thing no cops were present, or I could have been arrested for assault. “Why?” I asked. “I didn’t hit him, nor did I intend to hit him. I just wanted to scare him.”

    She answered, “You approached him in a threatening manner with a deadly weapon, your car. That’s assault! What would have happened if you couldn’t stop in time?”

    It was an eye-opening moment for me, not only that I could have been arrested, but especially her last question. Because as pissed off as I was at the kid, the last thing I wanted to do was hurt him.

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  77. James Joyner says:

    @SKI:

    #1 – Edmund Pettus Bridge says “hi”.

    As I understand it, the protestors actually lawfully crossed the bridge via its pedestrian sidewalks and were met by violence by police illegally blocking their legal, peaceful protest.

    #2 – I really don’t care about “legal” when it comes to protest. Lots of things are “legal” but profoundly immoral and deserving of protest. Especially when we are talking about protesting government/police misconduct.

    That’s fine. But protestors who violate the law are nonetheless subject to its consequences. In some cases, they are able to later get recognition from the courts that the law itself (say, segregated lunch counters) were illegal. Usually, not.

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  78. SKI says:

    @James Joyner:

    As I understand it, the protestors actually lawfully crossed the bridge via its pedestrian sidewalks and were met by violence by police illegally blocking their legal, peaceful protest.

    Look at the picture.

    That’s fine. But protestors who violate the law are nonetheless subject to its consequences. In some cases, they are able to later get recognition from the courts that the law itself (say, segregated lunch counters) were illegal. Usually, not.

    Nope, sometimes they get murdered or beaten.

    Smart civic leaders know that it is counter-productive to arrest/attack peaceful protesters, no matter how much HL92 hates them 😉 or how inconvenient they may be.

    We see them all the time here in DC, as you know. Cops marshal them along and direct/divert traffic around them and away.

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  79. Mister Bluster says:

    Here in Sleepytown there have been some marches and demonstrations by the local folk supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and other concerns of the day. Since the University is shut down these rallies are limited in size. Almost always the organizers get a permit from the city and follow the request to stay on the sidewalk and not block traffic.
    Just yesterday I saw a group of maybe 20 or 30 activists marching and chanting as they moved along one of the main streets in town. The police were actually giving them an escort and blocked traffic for them as they crossed a major intersection in the middle of the city.
    I could not help but think of events in 1970 when 5,000 citizens marched down the street these folks had just crossed ending in front of the University Presidents house to hear the Chancellor of the Campus announce the indefinite closing of University following weeks of anti-draft and anti-war riots and street battles between students and the Illinois State Police and the National Guard.
    While I was waiting for them to cross the street I popped Beggars Banquet into my car stereo, gave the demonstrators the Black Power Salute out my window and sang along with Mick and the boys as I drove by:
    Hey ! Said my name is called disturbance
    I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail at all his servants

    May 1970 (scroll down)

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  80. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @SKI:

    To be fair, I said lefty protestors, not all protestors 🙂

    They lost me after Occupy Wall Street, when they egged my car.

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  81. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Dude, I feel sorry for you:

    I have no care, at all, about the morality or amorality of something that doesn’t concern me.

    Have you ever known me NOT to be angry where the subject of unruly lefty protestors is concerned? I hate those people with the fury of a nova.

    They lost me after Occupy Wall Street, when they egged my car.

    I guess I never realized how small you were. Perhaps you are at peace with who you are. But I wouldn’t count on many other people sharing your worldview.

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  82. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    They lost me after Occupy Wall Street, when they egged my car.

    It’s just like the old adage — a conservative is a liberal whose been mugged, and a raging asshole is a liberal whose car has been egged.

    My deepest condolences on the minor inconvenience you suffered that you have allowed to change you. It’s a miracle that you carry on as well as you do.

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  83. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    That’s fine. But protestors who violate the law are nonetheless subject to its consequences. In some cases, they are able to later get recognition from the courts that the law itself (say, segregated lunch counters) were illegal. Usually, not.

    They are subject to the law’s consequences, not vigilantes murdering them. They are still protected by the law, even while they are breaking the law.

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  84. Matt says:

    It’s kind of crazy how this place has changed so dramatically of late. Can’t exist outside acceptable groupthink or you’ll be attacked extensively. HL92 merely read the law as it was written and what that meant on the street and the commenters here try to turn that around as Hl92 advocating the death penalty for jaywalking…

    I don’t know why y’all are so dead set against personal responsibility. I also don’t get why the people here think that the people legally driving on the road should just accept being heavily inconvenienced because asking protestors to follow the law and not stand in the road is just not acceptable. Then there’s the protestors who somehow think pissing off and inconveniencing others will somehow make them sympathetic to the cause… It’s nuts and outside of the bubble here you’ll find that people don’t tend to be sympathetic when protestors start blocking off roads randomly..

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  85. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj: @Gustopher:

    Oh for the love of G-d, do you ever listen to yourselves? I don’t want them to be harmed. I’m not cheering from the sidelines if they are. I’m not burning lefty protestors at the stake while chanting Adam Smith.

    I just dislike them. Beyond that, I don’t generally feel sympathy for people – any people – who experience the consequences of their own stupidity. You two act like I’m sacrificing babies to Lucifer.

    This is why people dislike the left. Every disagreement can’t be met with smug superiority. Every little thing that upsets your apple cart can’t be turned into a pearl clutching, garment shredding Broadway production number outrage fest. Maybe dial it down to 5 … 🙄

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  86. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Every disagreement can’t be met with smug superiority.”

    Certainly you’re doing your very best to disprove that…

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  87. wr says:

    @Matt: “I also don’t get why the people here think that the people legally driving on the road should just accept being heavily inconvenienced because asking protestors to follow the law and not stand in the road is just not acceptable.”

    “My goodness, I certainly understand why the colonists want to be free, but will no one think of the poor merchant who was expecting delivery of that tea!”

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  88. Gustopher says:

    @Matt:

    I don’t know why y’all are so dead set against personal responsibility. I also don’t get why the people here think that the people legally driving on the road should just accept being heavily inconvenienced because asking protestors to follow the law and not stand in the road is just not acceptable.

    Oh, bullshit.

    Whether protesters should or should not be in the road is a separate question from whether you should be able to run over anyone who is in the road.

    HL92 is trying to conflate the two with poorly done whataboutism, and is minimizing the second question — should people be able to murder protesters?

    He’s not even presenting a decent legal argument.

    If someone, say a small child, walks into the road, and you run them over, you will be held at least civilly liable for the dead child if you could have avoided the accident. Whether or not the child was jaywalking.

    If it can be shown that the driver clearly sees the child, and then swerves or accelerates to hit the brat, they are going to be charged with vehicular homicide.

    That’s it. Very simple. Now apply it to more people in the road. Now ask “what the hell is wrong with America that they feel deliberately killing people is ok?”

    And what the hell is wrong with America? Well, this begins to paint a clear picture: https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/18/us/legislation-protects-drivers-injure-protesters/index.html

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  89. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You come, clearly trying to pick a fight, and then get outraged when people take you up on it.

    You’ve changed. Not in your views, but in your attitudes and approach towards other people. You used to want to argue and discuss and pontificate, but now you seem to just want to fight. It’s not a change for the better.

    I’d say “you used to be cool, man”, but you never were. But you used to be more thoughtful, man.

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  90. Jc says:

    Interesting thread…

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  91. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    I see. Not agreeing with the crowd is evidently picking a fight. I’d suggest that the crowd’s inability to handle dissent is the problem there.

    Please show me anywhere where I suggested that people should be able to run over protestors in the road. That doing so is a desirable thing. You can’t do it. You can attempt to conflate the truism “people shouldn’t be in the road, and if they are there and get hit, they have to accept at least some of the blame for that happening” with “why that bastard thinks you should be able to murder protestors”. It’s a ludicrous stretch to even suggest that I advocate running protestors blocking a street over with cars. Arrest them? Sure, they’re breaking the law and deserve to be arrested for that, but murder? See commentary above about dialing it back to 5 …

    At basis, I suspect that it has more to do with the fact that I don’t ooo and ahh at these supposedly noble creatures out there risking their lives for social justice. You dislike me because I dislike them. My crime is not being Woke©, worse than that actively denouncing being Woke© as the virtue signalling performance art that it is, and we just can’t have that here, can we? Burn the heretic.

    When you say “you used to be more thoughtful”, what you mean is “you used to agree with me”. I didn’t get challenged because I you were hearing what you wanted to hear and all was well in Oz. Now that you aren’t hearing that, or worse *gasp* hearing things you dislike, out come the knives. I don’t hide my disdain for the far left. There’s no reason you should try to cloak your disdain – and it is disdain – behind the pretense of virtue. Admitting that would at least be intellectually honest.

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  92. HarvardLaw92 says:

    If someone, say a small child, walks into the road, and you run them over, you will be held at least civilly liable for the dead child if you could have avoided the accident. Whether or not the child was jaywalking.

    Sure, no argument, but the parent who failed to sufficiently watch the child bears the responsibility for the child being in the street in the first place, and that contributory / comparative negligence thing is something you aren’t going to like.

    Same argument – if you are standing in a street, you can not escape partial responsibility for having contributed to your own outcome if you get hit by a car while standing there. It’s a street. Cars are supposed to there, people aren’t allowed to be, so maybe standing in the street is a stupid thing to do, no? Asserting some sort of belief in a supposedly noble cause as a rationale for being in the street doesn’t vitiate the stupidity of willfully choosing to put yourself at risk by being there in the first place. You’d think this would be common sense instead of fodder for pearl clutching.

    If it can be shown that the driver clearly sees the child, and then swerves or accelerates to hit the brat, they are going to be charged with vehicular homicide.

    As they should be …

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  93. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    I answer smug with smug. If you’re getting it, it’s because you’re delivering it.

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  94. Northerner says:

    It might be simpler if we just say everyone protesting absolutely anything they want is allowed to block roads and highways. For a start it’d be non-partisan, no biases about what causes are worthy and what ones aren’t. It’d be simple — if someone wants to block the road they’re allowed to do it. And most importantly, it’d dramatically cut down car and truck travel, with huge environmental benefits (note the improvements in many environmental areas due to the reduced traffic during the Covid-19 lockdown). And possibly health benefits too if it meant people would be walking more — you’re allowed to walk through protests. Arguably the problem is that there are too few road blocking protesters protesting too few issues.

    This is obviously tongue in cheek, but I think cities designed around walking rather than automobiles would be an improvement in many ways. I vaguely recall reading a short history of how cars gained right of ways on our roads, and how that impacted our cities. All in all, I think it was a mistake.

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  95. An Interested Party says:

    Interesting thread…

    This is the second one with the exact same kind of “interesting”…I wonder what will happen when this becomes a daily thing…

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  96. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    It won’t. I’m growing tired of the gasping outrage chorus and I think I’ve made my point.

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  97. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You come with the belief that there’s a monolithic left who accuse everyone that doesn’t toe the line of being awful, and then make grandiose claims of “They’re protesting in a place they have no legal right to be protesting in – a place which the law, in fact, debars them from being in – where they know there is a heavy risk of being struck by an automobile. By breaking the law and choosing to stand in the street despite being aware of the risk, they accept that risk and the potential consequences.”

    You know exactly how that reads, because you’re not a moron, and when you get the obvious pushback you proclaim that you are being chastised because you don’t agree 100% with the mob. Look at our friend Dr. Joyner — does he agree 100%? No. Does everyone treat him like he’s an asshole? No.

    You’re not arguing in good faith, you just want to pick a fight so you can “prove” your point about the far left monolith groupthink.

    The kind response is probably to give you what you you want, because why wouldn’t someone give another person what they want?

    You’re a moron and an imbecile, the scum of the earth, and when Trump comes to arrest all the pedophiles, as QAnon assures us he will, I’ll bet you’ll be looking nervously over your shoulder.

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  98. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @KM:

    Wanna bet if a liberal “feared for their lives” when alt-right protests start harassing the car that they’d shoot at the approaching vehicle and claim self-defense from the homicidal driver…. or that FOX would be backing them up?

    This is where the narrative by would shift away from “fear for my life” as a legitimate justification for overreaction. Look–these people despite their veneer of values are not good faith actor. Good faith actors will take an “L” when required to support the process and rules. These people will never take an L. They will use the law and all the elements of persuasion to arrive at the outcomes that are comfortable to them. There is no use in debating with them.

    I don’t think HL92 has changed at all–we all have many different personas that we use with different crowds of people. He came into this blog with the standard acceptability personna he has in his professional life–I have one as well. Im only Jim Brown 32 with my family and friends. A clear change in HL’s tenor occured around the time of the Freddy Gray riots in Baltimore–I think it triggered him when he rightfully got piled on for his comments. He feels free to be non-office persona. I got no problem with that–

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  99. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    I rest my case …

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  100. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @wr:

    and some people also believe that just because the system is perfectly aligned to the interests of a rich, white, connected lawyer, it may not be equally so for others.

    Because of my work I have to socialize with these types–not lawyers so much but upper class professionals. I can honestly say that sometime Im on the fence about whether its colored skin that offends them or poverty. (Keep in mind that poverty to these people is decent working class to a comfortably middle class person like me–I know real poverty…did that and have the T-shirt) This class of white people disdains anyone without money–they don’t want to see them, they don’t want them around, and they sure as hell don’t give a shit about what happens to them. I have to bite by tongue through smiling teeth and just get through some of the bullshit conversations about how poor people are screwing up everyones life and finances. Its true that police kill alot of unarmed white people every year–white people don’t care because police are careful to never kill the wrong class of people. I’ve heard white police and paramedics complain to me that they were sick of reviving overdose (white) victims because they were dragging society down anyway. Im not sure how that can fixed–Im not even close to a bleeding heart–but I do believe that everyone regardless of means deserves a certain amount of dignity.

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  101. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You rest your case … in DEFEAT!

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  102. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I can honestly say that sometime Im on the fence about whether its colored skin that offends them or poverty. (Keep in mind that poverty to these people is decent working class to a comfortably middle class person like me–I know real poverty…did that and have the T-shirt) This class of white people disdains anyone without money–they don’t want to see them, they don’t want them around, and they sure as hell don’t give a shit about what happens to them.

    It’s both.

    You’re not wrong about the disdain for the poor being right up there with racism though. But I wouldn’t limit it to the very upper class — it’s a whole swath of the college educated middle-to-upper-middle class too. Democrats. And they aren’t subtle about it, which pushes a whole lot of the lower-to-lower-middle class white folks into the arms of the GOP, because no one wants to make common cause with people who despise them.

    The very wealthy might have more of an impact on the lives of those poor white folks, but those poor white folks are far more likely to encounter sneering middle-class college-educated centrist Democrats.

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  103. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    If you say so, Margaret. If you say so … 😀

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  104. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Please show me anywhere where I suggested that people should be able to run over protestors in the road. That doing so is a desirable thing.

    A clear no regarding the second, but you stated the first several times:

    The legal burden with respect to avoiding collisions outside of crosswalks falls on the pedestrian, not the driver. Drivers have a burden to avoid pedestrians when possible.

    “where possible” means “when pedestrians aren’t where they aren’t supposed to be. If you step out into the street and get hit, its on you.

    It is hard to read that different than “drivers have no burden to avoid pedestrians on the street”.

    You even stated that outright:

    Drivers in many states have no statutory duty to avoid pedestrians in places where they have no reasonable expectation that pedestrians will be there (i.e. outside of crosswalks). That “places where they have no reasonable expectation that pedestrians will be there” means “outside of crosswalks”.

    How should a normal person read that other than “outside of crosswalks drivers need not avoid pedestrians”? This is not even counting the borderline dishonest trick of talking about statutes covering liability distribution in case of unforeseen accidents in the context of cases where the drivers approached large and very visible groups of people which he could not reasonably have not seen.

    You admittedly built in some veiled qualifiers by just saying “they take their chances” and “it’s on you”, not “they may be killed”. But frankly if you state

    If they want to protest in a crosswalk and get hit, I’ll agree that the driver was in the wrong, otherwise, if they’re blocking streets they have no legal right to block, , they take their chances.

    you do effectively state that the driver is not wrong as long as they’re in the street.

    And at that point crying about people not parsing your statements carefully enough and not giving you the full benefit of the doubt regarding unclear language becomes … questionable. You might argue that in a contract dispute (and even there I would be sceptical). On a message board it’s laughable.

    Only after that point you were accused once of “supporting the death penalty for Jaywalking”. Which was a valid possible conclusion from your arguments.

    You then stated clearly that you don’t support killing protestors. And lo and behold, no one has accused of of anything like that ever since.

    You have been criticised for the views that you expressively expressed. But honestly, if you say “i don’t care about people being killed” you’ve got to expect some pushback without that being a horrible leftist conspiracy. So kindly cut the BS about WrongThink. You’re a lawyer. You know that when you’re misunderstood due to badly crafted, ambiguous wording it’s your fault, not the opposition’s. You brought that on yourself by being sloppy. You won’t get points for crying foul about it.

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  105. KM says:

    @Matt:

    I also don’t get why the people here think that the people legally driving on the road should just accept being heavily inconvenienced because asking protestors to follow the law and not stand in the road is just not acceptable.

    Because being heavily inconvenienced is not and never will be justification for the loss of human life. Period. My god man, actually read what you typed and reflect on it. I may not agree with @H92’s take on the supremacy of obedience to rules over human safety but I can at least understand the underlying premise that adherence to laws is of utmost importance for a functioning society. What I cannot accept is the idea that Americans are willing to throw human life away simply to not have their time wasted or be frustrated. That is not a solid legal principle nor is it encoded into the law yet it seems to be the default supporters of hitting protesters fall back on.

    I agree with @Gustopher – stop and ask yourself why you’re getting push back on the notion that it’s OK to kill someone just for wasting your time. Ask yourself why people are appalled at the idea that are not only fine with pointless death but think it’s fine to cause. Now ask yourself what that means for you personally if that idea takes off and drivers start to think pedestrians are fair game for “being in the way”. Talk about cheapening on life – because you don’t like what they are doing and they are “in the wrong”, it’s OK for them to die and to actively *cause* that death. These aren’t accidents or mistakes. Drivers are plowing into people intentionally…. and if you can’t see why approving of that mindset from any angle is a bad idea, all I can say is may karma never notice you walking on the sidewalk.

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  106. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “When you say “you used to be more thoughtful”, what you mean is “you used to agree with me”

    Umm, no. What he means (if I may put words in his mouth) is that “here’s a mirror” qualifies as either “dissent” or “not agreeing with the crowd.” Unless, of course, you’ve decided that the Nelson Muntz-esque “haw haw” is the apex of intellectual discourse.

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  107. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “I answer smug with smug. If you’re getting it, it’s because you’re delivering it.”

    I guess everyone on this forum is smug, then. Not to mention lazy and shiftless.

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  108. wr says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I lived in Pasadena, CA for many years. and socialized with many wealthy Republicans, most of whom were lovely people as long as you never discussed politics. But I will always remember a long conversation with a very sweet man who had been the general counsel for a mega-corporation for many years in which he simply could not or would not grasp the concept that rich people getting richer meant other people getting poorer, despite statistics that showed that exactly this was happening. To him, the economy was a pie that would just keep growing and everyone could have a bigger slice, and those who were falling by the wayside were either culpable or simply unlucky.

    As I said, lovely people as long as we didn’t talk politics…

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  109. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, in DEFEAT.

    All you have shown is that if you claim people are attacking you unfairly, they get defensive and reiterate their points. You have shown no groupthink on the left.

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  110. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    : @wr:

    most of whom were lovely people as long as you never discussed politics.

    Yes, I’ve lived in that neighborhood myself. In fact, I’ve been one of those neighbors, sorry to say.

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  111. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Hey, I’ll be you were fun at the parties!

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