MN bill could prevent arrested protesters from getting state aid


A new Minnesota bill would prevent people convicted of criminal offenses during protests or other civil unrest from receiving state aid.

SF 2381 would prevent convicted persons from receiving state aid including, but not limited to, student loans and grants, rent or mortgage assistance, food stamps, unemployment benefits, business grants, medical assistance and so on.

“Minnesotans have a long history of supporting the freedom to protest and the [First] Amendment,” Republican state Sen. David Osmek, who introduced the bill on April 7, told Fox News in a statement. “But the vast majority of them also are sick and tired of the vandalism and violence that recent ‘protests’ have become.”

An AutoZone store burns as protesters gather outside of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP)

An AutoZone store burns as protesters gather outside of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP)

He added that protestors do not “have the ‘constitutional right’ to throw a brick through the window of a business, throw frozen soda cans at police, and loot cell phone stores.”

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“Considering city and county attorneys are not prosecuting the laws that the Legislature has written, it is time that criminal protestors lose the right to taxpayer wallets,” he said. 

Osmek introduced the legislation days before the April 11 police shooting of Daunte Wright of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, which has sparked protests in Minneapolis and surrounding areas in recent weeks, nearly a year after the city grappled with riots and destruction after the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd. 

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Closing arguments in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before he was pronounced dead in police custody, are expected to begin Monday, leading city officials to prepare for potential backlash if the former officer.

The National Guard has deployed more than 3,000 troops to the area to help an additional 1,000 law enforcement officers as part of a local security plan called “Operation Safety Net,” according to the Star Tribune.

Locals who spoke to the paper mostly expressed support for the Guard’s presence in the area to prevent further destruction.

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“I want to see justice and change, but I also don’t want my city to burn,” Dan Woodward told the Tribune.

Osmek’s new legislation aims to act as an incentive for protesters not to engage in illegal activity.

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