Wednesday, February 22, 2012

City makes large protest signs into criminal offense

In the city of San Mateo, California, violations of city code which had been mere infractions can now be charged as criminal (misdemeanor) offenses and punished with jail time.  The San Mateo Daily Journal reports:
Going forward, any violators of city code can either face an infraction or misdemeanor. Misdemeanors, however, will only be issued by police officers or the Harbor Patrol Master and infractions can be issued by a wide range of city workers including building and fire inspectors. The penalty for an infraction will be a simple fine while the penalty for a misdemeanor could land the violator in jail. . . . .

Gardeners with noisy leaf blowers or protesters with signs too big could now face criminal charges based on a police officer’s discretion, a fact that does not sit well with [City Councilman Robert] Ross.  [Emph. added]

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