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Ohio bill would force rioters to pay for property damages: ‘You break it, you fix it’

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An Ohio state lawmaker proposed legislation that would require rioters to pay for damages they caused while breaking the law.

This comes amid protests on college campuses and in front of government buildings in Ohio, and across the country, as anti-Israel demonstrators demand ties be cut with Israel in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.

Senate Bill 267, which is awaiting a committee assignment, was introduced last month by Republican state Sen. Tim Schaffer.

“This legislation is pretty cut and dry. You break it, you fix it,” Schaffer said in a statement.

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protesters at Columbia University

Pro-Palestinian students lock arms, sing and chant as they braced for officers to raid campus after Columbia University President Minouche Shafik called on the NYPD to dismantle encampments and remove individuals from Hamilton Hall, Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in New York. (Seyma Bayram via AP)

“Over the past several years, we have seen how violence has taken a toll on communities and the damage riots and violent protests have caused,” he continued. “We need to hold accountable those who act to harm or damage property and ensure that they are the ones paying for these actions – not the local taxpayers and businesses.”

The proposal would also prevent government officials from interfering with law enforcement officers during a riot. It would prohibit any government official from limiting or restricting the authority of officers to take action to quell, arrest or detain people involved in a riot or vandalism.

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State troopers in riot gear try to beak up a pro-Palestinan protest

State troopers in riot gear try to break up a pro-Palestinian protest at the University of Texas on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (Jay Janner/American-Statesman)

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“Effective law enforcement is a hallmark of a modern and civilized society,” Schaffer said. “We need to do all we can to empower our law enforcement officers so that they can fulfill their sworn duty, and we are fortunate that they want to serve.”

Police have been called to the anti-Israel protests across the U.S. to clear encampments set up by demonstrators on college campuses and elsewhere, leading to clashes between officers and demonstrators as well as many arrests.

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