By Duncan Smith
A pair of Republican lawmakers have introduced a measure that would enable unwilling residents of Seattle’s “CHOP” zone to sue state and local officials for failing to protect their property and other constitutional rights.
The Epoch Times reports:
Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.) have introduced a proposal that would enable individuals victimized by violent crime in a so-called autonomous zone to sue state and local authorities for compensatory damages.
The measure, called the 'Justice for Victims of Lawless Cities Act' (JVLCA), refers to areas such as Seattle's 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,' in which Antifa-led rioters took over a six-block square of the city's downtown last month after police abandoned a local precinct station. Authorities retook the area by force July 1.
'In the absence of a legitimate police force, armed criminal gangs and untrained anarchist paramilitaries filled the void. Almost every night, gunshots rang through the streets. The first homicide victim was killed in an outburst of gang violence; the second, reportedly unarmed and joyriding in a stolen car, was gunned down by the 'CHAZ security force,' CJ said.
'Lawless autonomous zones have no place in America. Any city or state that tolerates one should be legally on the hook for any tragedies that happen,' Budd said in a statement introducing the legislation — which will likely languish in the Democrat-controlled House.
'This bill would be a strong incentive to local jurisdictions to break up any remaining lawless zones or prevent one from being established in the first place,' he continued.
'The United States is a nation of laws. The first order of government is to secure the blessings of liberty,” Roy added.
“Any state or city that takes federal funds and fails to enforce the laws should both lose those funds and be liable for the harm they have allowed to occur, including those allowing lawless 'autonomous zones' to be created,' Roy continued.
'Today, Congressman Budd and I have introduced legislation to do just that and help make sure the streets of America can be safe again,' the Texas GOP lawmaker said.
The legislation creates a private right of action, whereby 'any individual, or a spouse, parent, or child of such individual (if the individual is deceased or permanently incapacitated), who is the victim of a murder, rape, or any felony (as defined by the state), which occurred in a lawless jurisdiction may bring an action for compensatory damages against a state or a political subdivision of a state in the appropriate federal or state court.'
Local residents filed a similar suit against Seattle officials last month.
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