What should be the punishment for a civilian kicking a protester on the ground?

Trump supporter drags immigration protester, then kicks him when he is on the ground. Video here: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/doanld-trump-protestor-rally

I’m guessing there was no injury involved and that nobody will be prosecuted. But that looks like assault and battery to me, deserving of some sort of fine or sanction. No need for thumb screws or even prison time. Just criminal sanction (or maybe applying a misdemeanor), IMHO. That underlines the concept that you can’t just assault people because you feel like it or are pissed at them. Deterrence.

OTOH, maybe prosecutors have better things to do. On the third hand, if there’s a videotape of a crime, shouldn’t prosecution or plea bargaining be straightforward?
During the 1970s, lots of inter-office disputes were settled in the parking lot, according to popular lore. We live in a more litigious society now. Insofar as gratuitous violence is considered, I prefer the status quo. I use this particular example, assuming that this was a case of battery without injury and that no medical attention would be necessary. I also assume the guy is neither a plainclothes cop nor a PI.

Discussion of Trump, creeping fascism and liberals doing it too is permissible, but I’m really interested in the question of existing vs. appropriate sanction for mild non-domestic battery.

The incident happened in Florida. In Florida, physical contact constitutes the crime of Battery. Any unwanted physical contact can be Simple Battery, which is a misdemeanor. A more serious crime is Aggravated Battery, which is a felony. To be aggravated, the physical contact has to involve the use of a deadly weapon, knowingly cause “great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement”, or be directed against a pregnant woman.

The standard of “great bodily harm” seems to be the most relevant one here. But unfortunately, from what I can find, what constitutes great bodily harm is not defined by statute. It’s apparently up to the judge or jury to decide if great bodily harm was inflicted.

I don’t have too much sympathy for people that disrupt rallies -
at the same time, you don’t get the right to take matters into your own hands - especially when the police are already there.

Red shirt guy should be charged

This is convenient for me. Say this is a case of simple battery in Florida terms. Say we have a case where a guy committed simple battery in public in front of a cell phone camera. Then pumped his fists into the air.

Is this sort of public lawlessness acceptable? If somebody recognizes the guy, should they notify the cops? If the cops receive a report, should they follow it up? Or is this too piddling for the authorities to care about?

My take is that I like certain punishment, but not long sentencing. It’s one thing to drag a guy over to the cops. It’s quite another to kick him while he’s down just because you feel like it. But IANAL, and there may be practical considerations that I don’t have a good handle on.

No violent crime is “piddling”. It’s a first degree misdemeanor. He should receive a custodial sentence of less than one year.

Why does it matter that the guy kicked was a protester?

Per the actual text of the OP, it doesn’t. Presumably he picked this case simply because there is video.

I was responding to the thread title. It would seem the OP has some reason to include the protesting as part of this discussion. Is there really a debate in the question of: what should be the punishment for someone kicking someone else?

Again, I think the title is accidentally misleading.

Nothing in there about that fact that it’s a protestor.

If the kicker comes to some financial settlement with the kickee there’s not much need for any criminal measures. If it goes to criminal court a fine and a short term probation would do. That all assumes it’s a first offense for the guy. If he’s committed violent crimes before then throw the book at him. Two strikes should be the limit for violent crime.

Why is that?

Yea, I’m not a fan of someone being able to pay their way out of a criminal charge. Doing away with blood money and the like is basically the reason we have a legal system in the first place.

Sometimes it turns out like that because its hard to get a conviction if the victim is paid off and is basically the key/only witness. But in this case, police were present and the act was video-taped. The authorities ought to pursue it regardless of any private arrangement the victim and his attacker may or may not come to.

I am assuming there is no substantial harm to the kickee and it will be sufficient to dissuade the kicker from repeating his behavior in the future. It will save everyone time and money, there’s nothing additional to be gained by punishing the guy.

I’m also assuming the guy is not being a huge dickhead about it, that he’s apologetic, experiencing some shame, and realizes he was acting stupidly. If he’s smirking about how he got away with it then go ahead and make his life miserable.

Even the infliction of a bloody nose and black eye has been held to constitute “great bodily harm” in a Florida case.

Man, I was expecting a soccer-style kick to the ribs or something. That wasn’t anywhere near it.

Yes, the red shirt guy should be arrested. But I don’t think that kick deserves a year in jail. Maybe the judge should sentence him to one of those alternative punishments that make him feel the scorn of his neighbors and whatnot - like maybe holding a sign on a street corner saying, “I went to a Trump rally and kicked a defenseless protester who was advocatung for the rights of undocumented persons in the US.”

On second thought, he might do that on his own free will. How about his sign read something more like, “I’m lucky I wasn’t shot under this state’s Stand Your Ground laws - this criminal wants you to vote for Trump!”

You guys have got to do something about that ‘USA’ chant, it’s really dragging down the Ryder Cup.

There is whatever deterrent value to others a visible prosecution has.

I wouldn’t disagree, except for how minor this incident is. I doubt there are many cases where such minimal contact is pursued as a crime. Even if it was prosecuted the guy would plead out on something very minimal and it would barely be visible.

The other guy should be tied down so that the person he assaulted can get a free boot to whatever body part he wants.

I’m glad to hear this. So it’s worth prosecuting (and plea bargaining)?

It doesn’t, but video is available as is public commentary and investigation. I liked the case because there’s a chance that it would receive a greater degree of reporting than is typical.

The debate is, “What should be the punishment for minor crimes, colloquially speaking?” IMO red shirt did very little damage - less than a black eye. I also want him punished, partly because he did it in a very public venue and it sets a bad example.

There’s one complication though. Red shirt may have perceived illegal activity, which might justify manhandling the protestor. But the kick, ISTM, was clearly gratuitous. And the fist pumping showed callousness and lack of regret.

Thank you. IANAL and I appreciate the info.

Yeah, it looked like a offhanded tap. I’d be satisfied with a suspended sentence and $100 fine. It’s possible of course that the kick was harder than it looked. Setting that aside, I don’t want Red Shirt to lose a day of work. I do want him to face consequences for his actions. I would look favorably upon a public apology by him, whatever its sincerity.
YogSosoth: Look again. It doesn’t look like the protester was kicked that hard.