When Kentucky Rep. Attica Scott, the only Black woman in the state’s legislature, was arrested at a protest last month, she assumed she’d been booked on a curfew violation.
Instead, Scott and 17 other racial-justice protesters arrested alongside her were booked on a much more serious charge: rioting. The allegation was they had marched near—that is, proximal to—someone who vandalized a library.
Even local prosecutors couldn’t stomach the case: On Tuesday, the county attorney who brought those charges announced he was dropping them, calling them too hard to prosecute.
Now a fellow state lawmaker is taking aim at the murky riot law that led to the mass arrests in the first place, an effort to help stem the tide of harsh crackdowns on protesters across America.
Scott was arrested hours after a prosecutor declined to press charges against any