Black Lives Matter protesters are learning about the balancing act involved between the First Amendment right to assemble and the need for an ambulance to get a sick child to the hospital as quickly as possible.
They are also learning that they should have paid attention to their moms and dads when they told them not to play in the street.
BLM demonstrators have taken to streets, roadways and even interstate highways to protest what they claim is targeting of black men by white police in a series of interactions across the country that turned violent when suspects failed to comply with police orders.
But while the First Amendment guarantees the right of assembly, it leaves road laws up to state statutes that pretty much frown on crowds blocking the streets and highways that people use to get to and from work, appointments and, on occasion, in case of emergency.
Although organized marches have brought traffic to a standstill across the nation, some BLM protesters have been struck while standing or wandering in the middle of roads, as seen in numerous YouTube videos, and the traffic-blocking tactic took a dangerous turn this week when protesters shut down an interstate bridge in Memphis trapping a family with a sick child on the way to a local hospital.
The panicky parents called 911 when they couldn’t get through on the bridge, turning what should have been a ten-minute trip to the hospital to an ordeal lasting more than a half-hour, as police were forced to escort an ambulance along the wrong side of the interstate.
The paramedic in attendance, a 30-year veteran of emergency medical care, told reporters, “When you have someone in dire need of medical attention, I don’t know if there is a cause great enough to hinder someone from getting to the hospital to get medical care.”
Surely, if it were the sick child of one of the Black Lives Matter protesters, they would see things differently, but for now at least, their right to shut down the rights of others is the only thing that really matters.
Certainly the life of a sick white child didn’t.
In this clip Fox News reporter Todd Starnes asks why the police are letting BLM block the road which is a crime under Tennessee law.