The majority of the 230 rioters that protested the inauguration on Friday in Washington D.C. will be facing charges of felony rioting, federal prosecutors said. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office this offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Most of the originally detained rioters have been released without having to post bail, but will be required to return to court in February.
According to interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham 217 people were arrested on Friday and charged with rioting. These arrests took place in downtown Washington D.C. within a 4 block stretch and it all took place around the time of the swearing-in of President Trump. The arrests took place after the protesters, armed with crowbars and other heavy objects, smashed in the windows of downtown businesses and damaging vehicles.
Via CBS News “A first group of 10 men appeared in Superior Court just before 3 p.m.[on Saturday], and their lawyer entered a not guilty plea on their behalf. A judge released all of them on the condition they not get re-arrested in the District of Columbia.
When police arrived on the scene, they deployed pepper spray and “sting balls” against the crowd. Six police officers were hurt in the altercation, three of them hit in the head with flying objects.
The demonstrators consider this crackdown to be the beginning of a wave of oppression since their little stunt was met with police interaction. Both the National Guard and Department of Homeland Security were deployed with heavy surveillance along with law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops during the inauguration ceremony.
Via Salon“These charges are absolutely horrifying. They are just trying to stop any resistance to the Trump administration,” Samantha Miller, an organizer with the Disrupt J20 Collective, told AlterNet. “Many of these demonstrators were showing rage and fear of what’s coming. It’s going to take a lot more than asking nicely to create change and stop the threats from the Trump administration.”
Americans have the right to protest peacefully. However, those who create havoc, vandalize property and endanger the lives of law enforcement should be met with felony rioting charges. Tell us what you think!