Pennsylvania Judge Teaches Us How Not to Become Portland


In the last few months, Portland, Oregon, has gone from a city of nearly unequaled beauty and charisma to something pretty much synonymous with death and destruction. As you have likely heard, protests that usually turn into riots, complete with catastrophic property damage and physical violence, have gone on in the city for some 100 days straight.

Now, you’d think this would make someone within the city’s leadership circle want to stand up and do something to stop. But that’s not precisely what has happened. Instead, it seems that virtue signaling and worrying about offending someone is higher on their priority list than the lives and rights of those who live there.

Sure, people are arrested for causing damage, whether to a person or property. But, thanks to Portland’s liberal laws and their recent no cash bail rule, these individuals are immediately released back into the public to wreak havoc again the next night.

Thankfully, Portland is pretty much on its own as far as this kind of allowed behavior is concerned, as one Pennsylvania town has shown.

As I am sure you have heard, riots broke out in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Sunday evening after the police-involved shooting a man charging officers with a knife. Videos reveal that Ricard Munoz lunged at police officers when they approached him, forcing them to take action.

And yet, because Munoz was a man of color, protests immediately began decrying his death. Unsurprisingly, the protest turned into a riot.

As the Lancaster Police Department noted, “A group in excess of 100 protesters gathered on the access ramp on the west side of the station. The group moved further up the ramp and locked arms in a line.”

The station used a public address system, or PA, to notify the protesters that if they didn’t leave the ramp, “chemical munitions would be deployed.” The police were true to their word, firing chemical agents into the crowd several moments later when it became apparent the group wasn’t going to leave of their own volition.

Naturally, the crowd dispersed.

But that’s also when the rioting broke loose. The department reported bricks being thrown into the front windows of both the police station and the neighboring post office. A police vehicle was also damaged.

According to the New York Post, about a dozen individuals were arrested by morning’s light on rioting charges.

Now, if this were Portland, this would have been where the suspects were released and given nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

However, this isn’t Portland.

Instead, these criminals were not only charged but held with some very hefty bails.

Per the Post, Magisterial District Judge Bruce A. Roth set bail for nine of those arrested at $1 million per person. Another suspected rioter had his bail set at $100,000.

Suffice it to say that none of these defendants could afford to get out of jail.

And wouldn’t you know, while the next night did hold protests in the city, they were all noted to be relatively peaceful with no one acting up or getting out of line.

Shocking, I know…

As it would turn out, law and order does have its benefits. The mere threat of punishment is usually enough to ward off any kind of bad behavior. And as Portland knows all too well at this point, without it, criminal activity will thrive.

Of course, those of a more leftward mindset and a group known as Lancaster Stand Up wasn’t exactly happy with the high bail amounts.

As they stated on their social media, “The absurdly high bail amounts indicate that what we’re seeing is not a measured pursuit of justice, but a politically motivated attack on the movement for police reform and accountability.”

According to the group, “local police, prosecutors, and judges are closing ranks and targeting young advocates for social justice who have been calling for police reform.”

However, they failed to note that all these “advocates” have broken the law in one form or another. Judge Roth didn’t unfairly punish these miscreants. He gave them due process, as our Constitution demands.

And in doing so, he has prevented further damage and possibly even loss of life in his community. Now, if only Portland would take a cue.