As someone who has served in the military for over 31 years, I am very concerned with the unintended consequences of state Senate Bill 323. This bill, if signed into law, would require participants in a lawful public demonstration to reimburse police response costs if convictions occur during the event. While most law-abiding citizens would certainly agree that those responsible for criminal activity should pay for their deeds, to hold liable an organization for individual behavior is fraught with peril toward our democratic values. Our nation was founded on the right to protest.

I may not agree with your views, but I will fight to the end to protect them. This is critical to successful military and law enforcement service. Any law that may penalize the right to legally demonstrate is contrary to our American way of life. The risk of unruly individuals does not outweigh the importance of democratic dissent.

David Wood

Manheim Township