A third consecutive day of protests in St. Louis began on Sunday following a “not guilty” verdict for former cop Jason Stockley, who shot Anthony Lamar Smith five times at close range (and then planted evidence) in December 2011. Sunday promises to be as intense as the past two days, for hundreds are still gathered outside the courthouse for a “die-in” demonstration, which will see “protesters lie down as if dead.”
On Saturday, police blocked a highway entrance near downtown St. Louis after protesters gathered to halt traffic. The evening grew violent when an officer was injured after a protester threw a brick, and police pepper sprayed the assembling crowds to disperse them. Nearly 24 hours before this turn of events, a Republican state representative of Pennsylvania, Aaron Bernstine, vowed to run over any protester who ever dared to block his vehicle.
Late Friday night, Bernstine tweeted, “If anyone EVER tries to stop my car on a highway with negative intentions… I will not stop under any conditions..”
As one can easily see from the above tweet, Bernstine got ratio’d hard with the number of (overwhelmingly negative) responses to his tweet far outweighing faves and retweets. Still, he stood firm in subsequent tweets while encouraging people to “call my office” with complaints. He also bragged, “Difference between me and these snowflakes is that I won’t be assaulted in name of ‘free speech.'”
In response to this hot mess, a Democratic Pennsylvania lawmaker, Brandon Cwalina, called upon Bernstine to apologize, via CBS News:
“Representative Bernstine should not have to be reminded that the right to peaceably assemble is so fundamental to our democracy that it is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. His statement is not fit for a state representative — let alone any decent person — and he must apologize immediately.”
As of now, Bernstine has not apologized, nor has he deleted his tweets.