Posted on February 25, 2021

Alabama Democratic Chairman Opposes Rioting Felony Legislation

Carol Robinson,, February 23, 2021

The chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party is responding to proposed legislation that would make rioting similar to what was seen in Birmingham over the summer a felony crime.

Rep. Christopher England on Monday issued a statement, invoking the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. – “Riots are socially destructive and self-defeating. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice.”

Rep. Allen Treadaway last week announced he is proposing new crimes and penalties for those who incite or participate in riots and also provide additional protection for police officers and other first responders when such situations take place.

Among the provisions of Treadaway’s legislation are:

    • {snip}

    • A person who knowingly participates in the new crime of “Aggravated Riot,” which requires bodily or property damage to result, would also be held for 24 hours before becoming eligible for bail, and, upon conviction of the Class C felony, would face a mandatory minimum sentence of six months and an order of restitution.
    • Those convicted of Riot, Aggravated Riot, or Inciting a Riot would become ineligible to hold public office in Alabama.


  • Any government entity in Alabama that defunds a local law enforcement agency would lose eligibility for any state funding, grants, revenues, or other forms of aid. {snip}
  • The crime of purposely blocking an Interstate would become a felony with accompanying fines

England said Black people in Alabama have marched, penned songs, wrote, spoken, prayed, and screamed for justice. “How should Black people express their frustration to lawmakers who seem more committed to silencing Black outcry than doing what is right?,’’ he said. {snip}