Defending Public Safety and Business Infrastructure: Effective Statutory Responses to Black Bloc Domestic Terrorism
16 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018
Date Written: Winter 2018
Police must be provided with consistent and unambiguous legal authority to arrest and detain domestic terror suspects who are “armed, equipped and prepared” to engage in illegal acts that are dangerous to human life and safety, or who appear to intimidate or coerce others, or that appear to be intended to affect the conduct of a government by destruction of property or physical violence. If individuals engaged in so-called Black Bloc tactics face preemptive misdemeanor arrests (or felony arrests for actually engaging in violence) they will be forced to remove masks and be deprived of their most effective (and disruptive) tactical tools and strategies. In many cases, they might just stay home. On the other hand, groups using these techniques may adapt to circumvent the ways in which they are profiled. In every instance, there are substantial First Amendment considerations that necessitate careful tailoring of law enforcement measures to threats posed, and practical considerations that may make such measures sparingly used, especially if employed in a preemptive manner.
Keywords: Public Safety, Business Infrastructure, Law Enforcement, Domestic Terrorism, Antiterrorism, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Protest, Black Bloc
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K42, Z13, Z18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation