Seattle protests offer a powerful and painful lesson

As a former resident of Washington state, I was following the developments in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle (Capitol Hill Occupy Protest, or CHOP) with great interest. Once the killings started, my heart ached.

The first thing CHOP did was establish a border of several blocks staffed by armed guards. As violence began to break out, there were individuals making up the rules as they went along. There were assaults, robberies, and more before the killing began.

The strong picked on the weak. Mob mentality started to rule. And then lives were lost because first responders were not allowed to get to the injured parties. One of the victims was just 19 years of age.

Today, we speak of defunding police and abolishing the criminal justice system entirely. The deaths that happened at CHOP should not be forgotten. They should teach us a powerful and painful lesson: That when there is no law and order, individuals will take it upon themselves to become the authority, and there will be no trial, no lawyers, no presentation of any evidence of wrongdoing, no jury.

The new authority will decide others' fate - up to and including execution - without any due process.

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