Terrorism Charges Laid Against 45 People Accused Of Trying To Infect Others With COVID-19
If convicted, the 45 people in New Jersey face up to 10 years in prison
by Devika Desai
Nearly four dozen people in New Jersey have been hit with terrorism charges as part of the state’s campaign to criminalize threats of COVID-19 transmission.
If convicted, the 45 people could each face up to 10 years of prison time and a $150,000 fine, in what defence attorneys of the accused have called a “miscarriage of justice” targeting the poorest and most vulnerable residents of the state.
Denise Lewis, 28, told the Guardian she had been arrested while walking on the streets in April 2020, with warrants related to failure to pay traffic tickets and an incident in which she had “escaped” from a police vehicle.
She had been a witness to a fight but left the back of the patrol car, her attorney Logan Terry told the Guardian.
After being taken into custody, police say Lewis coughed “in close proximity” to the arresting officers and stated she had COVID-19, even though no dashboard, body or in-station videos have shown the encounter.
Lewis had no criminal history prior to this exchange, but now she faces a terrorism charge after the officer’s allegation.