We are way behind on this story, because it isn’t simple. But I do know that RICO prosecutions have always been ripe for abuse, and when Fani Willis brought a RICO suit about protesters, that crystalized what is going on in Georgia with Cop City. Via Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Inquirer:
With hours and hours of coverage of Fulton County inmate No. P01135809, you’ve probably heard nothing about another man charged in recent days under Georgia’s RICO law — a 20-something from Maryland named Geoffrey Parsons. According to a recent grand jury indictment steered by the Peach State’s Republican attorney general, Chris Carr, Parsons committed an “overt act” in a criminal conspiracy when he signed a document with the acronym “ACAB,” which stands for “all cops are bastards.”
This absurd allegation against Parsons — courts have ruled, after all, that it’s legal to give the finger to a cop — might almost be funny if it were not part of the most serious threat to American democracy that not nearly enough people are talking about.
Georgia’s RICO charges against 61 people involved in the protest movement against “Cop City” — the uber-controversial $90 million police training center under construction on Atlanta’s outskirts — are a full-frontal assault on citizens’ right to protest. Despite the lack of fanfare, it means as much for the future of the American Experiment as our obsession over whether Trump will be president or prisoner in 2025.