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Bill Would Allow Arrests For No Reason In Public Place
Citizens Would Also Have To Show ID

News Net 5 | December 22 2005

CLEVELAND -- A bill on Gov. Bob Taft's desk right now is drawing a lot of criticism, NewsChannel5 reported.

One state representative said it resembles Gestapo-style tactics of government, and there could be changes coming on the streets of Ohio's small towns and big cities.

The Ohio Patriot Act has made it to the Taft's desk, and with the stroke of a pen, it would most likely become the toughest terrorism bill in the country. The lengthy piece of legislation would let police arrest people in public places who will not give their names, address and birth dates, even if they are not doing anything wrong.

WEWS reported it would also pave the way for everyone entering critical transportation sites such as, train stations, airports and bus stations to show ID.

"It brings us frighteningly close to a show me your papers society," said Carrie Davis of the ACLU, which opposes the Ohio Patriot Act.

There are many others who oppose the bill as well.

"The variety of people who opposed to this is not just a group of the usual suspects. We have people far right to the left opposing the bill who think it is a bad idea," said Al McGinty, NewsChannel5’s terrorism expert.

McGinty said he isn't sure the law would do what it's intended to do.

"I think anything we do to enhance security and give power to protect the public to police officers is a good idea," he said. "It is a good law in the wrong direction."

Gov. Bob Taft will make the ultimate decision on whether to sign the bill.

WEWS was told that Taft is expected to sign the bill into law, but legal experts expect that it will be challenged in courts.

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