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Paragould’s Martial Law Scare

City officials seem to have backed off a proposed plan to institute what essentially would have been marshal law in Paragould, Arkansas.

marshal lawThe plan’s inception was a response to the town’s increasing rate of violent crime. Mayor Gaskill and Police Chief Stovall announced the plan at a town hall meeting in mid December. The idea was to have patrols of officers wearing SWAT gear strapped with AR-15s roaming through the town.

These officers would essentially be roving checkpoints with the authority to stop any citizen, ask what he or she is doing outdoors, and demand identification. Citizens who refused to produce identification could have been arrested for obstructing government business. The men behind the proposed police state didn’t consult with an attorney to determine whether or not their plan was legal, though it should have been plainly obvious to them that support for this measure would be virtually nonexistent.

Surprisingly enough, Americans don’t like it when their rights are trampled upon, and the story went viral. The online backlash against the plan was widespread, causing it to apparently fizzle out.