We previously talked about high-risk cases of politically motivated violence, including attacks on people wearing MAGA hats. In Delaware, two women hit rock bottom stealing a 7-year-old's hat and then shouting swear words, tearing open signs and a person attacking a person in a parking lot near the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. Delaware police beat Olivia Winslow, 21, and Camryn Amy, 21, with a series of well-deserved charges, although one charge regarding the relevant conduct remains unclear. What is remarkable about the videotape is the feeling of complete legitimacy in attacking those with opposing views.
I have criticized professors who declared MAGA displays as evidence of white supremacism or fascism. Such views have created a kind of license to attack and abuse people for their political views. MAGA hats have been banned from some college cafes or stolen from fellow students on campus. Even journalists have stated that anyone who wears a MAGA hat is a racist per se.
Such voices of intolerance reinforce those who claim the right to violent action, as shown in the video that was taped near the National Democratic Convention. The video is available here.
Winslow and Amy were charged with robbery, conspiracy and endangering the well-being of a child. Amy was also charged with abusive touch.
The hazard charge is interesting from a criminal defense perspective. It is true that the women take their hats into the parking lot and the boy follows. However, in a bizarre way, the mother asks her son to get his hat back from two obviously violent women and to follow them into the parking lot. One of the women finally throws her hat over the fence. The question is whether the endangerment charge is due to the boy who follows them, the subsequent violence by the women, or the original attack. If they invoke offense, the hazard fee could be dropped.
The law itself provides for a child to witness certain crimes:
(4) The person commits a violent crime or a second degree of reckless endangerment, third degree assault, terrorist threat, second degree illegal detention or third degree child molestation against a victim, knowing that such a crime or misdemeanor is either observed by sight or by witnessing sound, from a child under the age of 18 who is a member of the person's family or the victim's family …
In either case, videotape leaves no obvious defense or course other than a plea. A defense attorney could request one count at a time. The priority would be to reduce the risk of having children, which could have the most lasting impact on women in terms of future employment.