She should be made to pay for the broken windows and any other actual damage she caused. But Ryan Couzens of the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office absurdly overstates his case when he says: “We can’t live in a free society if people’s political views are expressed through violence,” said Couzens.
Indeed. And these kinds of attacks on mosques are stupid and never justified. But let’s try once again to recover some sense of proportion. Twenty-two people are dead in Manchester and seven in London. Another is dead in Jerusalem. There are more dead all the time: over 30,000 lethal jihad attacks worldwide since 9/11. And the Islamic Center of Davis is playing the victim, with help from authorities, over…bacon.
DAVIS (CBS13) — Lauren Kirk-Coehlo, who pled guilty to felony charges for vandalizing of the Islamic Center of Davis, was sentenced to five years probation on Friday.
Her crimes were caught on surveillance camera, but it’s what she said off camera that is raising red flags.
“The social media postings that she had, and the chats we were able to recover, showed that she harbored extreme feeling where she wanted to hurt people,” explained Ryan Couzens, with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
The judge said jail time was an option but in the end, decided against it.
Back in January, Kirk-Coehlo, 30, vandalized the Islamic Center of Davis, breaking windows, damaging property and placing bacon on door handles – a way to antagonize Muslims who don’t eat pork.
Kirk-Coehlo, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, pleaded guilty to the felony vandalism charges with a hate crime enhancement. But instead of jail time, she given five years probation and has been banned from social media for five years, given community service, ordered weekly psychiatric counseling and must pay $7,000 in restitution. She also will not be allowed to own a firearm.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office wanted Kirk-Coehlo to go to jail – especially considering the motive behind her attack.
“We can’t live in a free society if people’s political views are expressed through violence,” said Couzens.
It has been a difficult six months for the local Muslim community. Four local mosques have been attacked attacked or vandalized – twice at the Islamic Center of Davis. There was also last week’s anti-Shariah march in Roseville.
“A felony conviction is something that will follow her for the rest of her life, and 5 years probation is no joke either,” said Saad Sweilem. He’s a civil rights attorney based in Sacramento….