A woman spitefully stomped a “Back the Blue” sign before turning to a police officer and smirking. However, her smile quickly faded when she realized that she was being charged with a serious crime.
A 19-year-old Utah woman was arrested after allegedly stomping a “Back the Blue” pro-law enforcement sign in front of a police officer. The incident occurred at a gas station in Panguitch while a Garfield County police officer was conducting a traffic stop in the parking lot.
When fringe groups feel they are victims of intolerance, intimidation, or hate, the political left is quick to demand a penalty for such an injustice. Of course, when they are forced to play by their own rules, they don’t seem to like the taste of their own bad medicine.
The police officer noticed the young woman, whose identity has not been released, stomping on a “Back the Blue” sign near the traffic stop, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The suspect then aggressively crumpled up the poster and threw it into a garbage can before giving the officer a disturbing grin.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a Garfield County police officer was conducting a traffic stop for speeding at a gas station when the officer saw a woman “stomping on a ‘Back the Blue’ sign next to where the traffic stop was conducted, crumble it up in a destructive manner and throw it into a trash can all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me.”
The officer says that they asked the woman where she had obtained the sign. The woman claimed that it belonged to her mother. However, when the officer told the woman that the local Sheriff’s Office had created those signs, her story began to change.
After suspecting that the woman had illegally “acquired” the poster in the community, the officer placed her in handcuffs and read her Miranda rights. The officer maintains that the woman gave several “inconsistent stories” as to where she got the sign before claiming she found it on the ground.
“Due to [the woman] destroying property that did not belong to her in a manner to attempt to intimidate law enforcement, I placed her under arrest,” the affidavit says.
Although she was initially charged with the destruction of property, she soon discovered that her charge was escalated to a hate crime because she was accused of using her actions as a threat toward the police officer.
According to the affidavit, the allegations are being treated as a “hate crime enhanced allegation” due to “the demeanor displayed by [the woman] in attempts to intimidate law enforcement while destroying a ‘Pro Law Enforcement’ sign.”
The Utah Code mandates that anyone who commits non-arson destruction of property with intent to “intimidate or terrorize another person or with reason to believe his action would intimidate or terrorize that person” is subject to have their class B misdemeanor offense upgraded to a class A misdemeanor. As such, what likely would’ve been a small fee could result in up to a year in prison or a fine of up to $2,500.
The Code states that the accused must have intended to cause their victim to “reasonably fear to freely exercise or enjoy” their constitutional rights. It also defines “intimidate or terrorize” as an action that causes the victim to “fear for his physical safety or damages the property of that person or another.”
Had this woman stomped on a BLM poster or an LGBTQ flag, the left would be calling for serious punishment. Because she destroyed a sign with a message they despise, they are suddenly standing up for the woman’s right to do so. Since they are adamant about imposing this penalty on others, they should be forced to abide by their own philosophy.
The rights of speech and protest are inalienable rights reserved for every American citizen. However, the left wants only certain political and social groups to enjoy these freedoms while hypocritically complaining when they are held to the same standard.