Interestingly, their original charges appear to have been filed by the Madison Police Department, but later there was a handover to the federal prosecutor. Why? You might think that local officials didn't want the heat of law enforcement after the riots, but that's a pattern we've seen in other cases.
United States attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Scott C. Blader, announced that Johnson has been charged with attempting to obtain money and property through consent given by the threat of violence, violence, and fear, including the destruction of several companies. There was also an alleged risk of injuring an employee unless they were given free food, alcohol, and cash.
Police in Madison said Johnson, James and Shanley asked for free food and drink in return for a shop not being destroyed by demonstrators. According to the report, in one case, the demand for free items was also in exchange for no employee being injured.
The police also released a video that shows the fight for Johnson's arrest and requires five officers.
However, the arrest sparked anger and violent demonstrations in Madison. A senator was beaten and taken to the hospital when he tried to film the protests.
The reasons for Johnson's arrest appear legitimate and justified.
My question is the use of federal fees.
From the point of view of civil liberties, there is renewed concern that the federal government could circumvent state and local laws and impose its own punishment for domestic crimes. So if a state didn't support a president's tough view of a particular activity, the prosecutor would effectively federalize the crime. Defense lawyers have repeatedly raised the issue of dual jurisdiction, particularly since the pursuit of civil rights is practically identical to state charges. The double hazard claims raised in such challenges have generally failed. However, this is a direct federalization of a local crime that has occurred within a state. These defendants are often sentenced to longer sentences in the federal system.
What is the intergovernmental element in the video above? The federal government has adopted the same weakened arguments that were used in Wickard against Filburn (1942). In this case, Roscoe Filburn grew wheat to feed his chickens, but the Supreme Court still defined the activity as international trade because his harvest reduced the amount of wheat on the open (and national) market. Certainly the restaurant's food and alcohol come from a different state, but the alleged crime is clearly local in terms of its effects, victims, etc.
The ease with which these cases are transferred between jurisdictions shows the extent to which the state police powers guaranteed under federalism have been undermined.