The United States is currently in an uproar following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. There have been protests and riots across the country; citizens are exercising their rights against police brutality and racism. Some believe that the police are doing their jobs to keep themselves and everyone safe; others believe police officers target black citizens because of their race and they should have more training. As these protests and riots occur, people are getting arrested for violent acts in support of the cause. Still, U.S. citizens are taking action to spark a difference in police tactics and civil rights.
From a legal standpoint, there is a difference between protesting and rioting. Protesting is a way to express your immense disapproval of something and is a right protected by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Citizens have the right to walk and peacefully protest something they disagree with. The key word though is “peacefully.” If you choose to protest police brutality, support civil rights, or any other belief, you must do so in a peaceful manner. Examples of protests throughout United States history include:
- The Women’s March on Washington