Accused Inauguration Rioters Fully Acquitted

The first accused rioters to stand trial for Inauguration protests were acquitted on Thursday.

​Washington, DC – Six "protesters" who were arrested on multiple counts during a violent Inauguration Day protest were acquitted by a jury on Thursday, following a month-long trial.

Oliver Harris, 28, Jennifer Armento, 38, Alexei Wood, 37, Michelle Macchio, 26, Christina Simmons, 20, and Brittne Lawson, 27, had all been charged with multiple counts of rioting and destruction of property, The Washington Post reported.

Trials for an additional 166 demonstrators are pending.

Hundreds of protesters descended on the city to protest the Inauguration on Jan. 20.

Many dressed in black and wore masks to help conceal their identities, WJLA reported. Some were armed with bricks, hammers, and crowbars.

The six defendants were among a group of particularly violent demonstrators who smashed windows, threw newspaper boxes into the street, and set a limousine ablaze, The Washington Post reported.

The group caused over $100,000 in damages throughout a 16-block area, police said.

Prosecutors argued that the purpose of the demonstration, which was organized by a group calling themselves DisruptJ20, was to create chaos and destruction.

Although prosecutors told the jury that the defendants chose to stay with the group when the vandalism began to occur, they said they were unable to provide proof that any of the six on trial was personally responsible for any of the damages caused.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rizwan Qureshi told jurors that the riotous group “tore up your city, putting people in danger.”

According to WTOP, Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz decided that “no reasonable juror” would agree that the prosecution had proved that the six defendants had encouraged others in their group to riot, and she threw out the charge of inciting a riot in each of their cases.

The jury then acquitted each of the defendants on a misdemeanor count of engaging in rioting, a misdemeanor count of conspiracy to riot, and five felony counts of destruction of property.

“There was no evidence to support whether or not these six willingly participated in the riots or aided and abetted the rioters,” a juror told The Washington Post.

Those who were acquitted celebrated after the verdict.

“People won’t be afraid to show up and go protest and get in the streets and not be worried that they’ll get mass arrested like we did,” Macchio told WTOP. “This sets a really strong precedent that that’s not OK and you can’t criminalize dissent.”

BuzzFeed News reported that they asked Wood what he thought about the verdict.

"F*k them so hard," he replied via text.

Twenty of the 212 people who were charged in relation to the protests have pleaded guilty, The Washington Post reported. Charges were dismissed in an additional 20 cases.

The remaining 166 defendants will face trial in groups of six or seven, in trials that are expected to last well into 2018.

Comments (21)
No. 1-20
spclopr8tr
spclopr8tr

Please tell me the public defender's office isn't representing these thugs for free.

dfnizzi
dfnizzi

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and flies with ducks, IT'S A DUCK!

Pipkinrahl
Pipkinrahl

This is just letting the snowflakes know that they can get away with this type of illegal activity. I guess it's ok to break windows and generally act like an ass as long as you do it after a presidential inauguration.

Twhiting9275
Twhiting9275

sadly, if the evidence isn't there, then ...

Poileas
Poileas

And they want us convicted for pepper spraying them.

Betts1221
Betts1221

This is exactly why these socialist/communists get by with destruction of public and private property and violence, because they know the liberals will not find them guilty.

OWiseOne
OWiseOne

This is not the whole truth as usual. The jury let the first group off without punishment, yes. It was wrong to do so. As for the other 200, each will still go to court for their own charges. The lawyer tried to get the charges dropped for all involved. He was not successful in his efforts. Fake news as always and should have been verified before printed to the public. They are getting off without being charged because they wear masks and cannot be identified, therefore cannot be prosecuted .

RunCop
RunCop

Should have been some serious street justice dished out......animal thugs!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

I'm not sure why everyone here is upset. The only people to kill at a demonstration so far are white supremacists.

LEO0301
LEO0301

@Hi_estComnDenomn Another one of your comments that makes no sense at all. Well done!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Alright. Since you're against Antifa and BLM ( neither of which i am a fan),how many bodies between them against the high IQ good folks that are white supremacists?

RyanAndOakley
RyanAndOakley

Note to rioter Alexei Wood.who commented to Buzz Feed Nrws after the verdict, "Fuck them so hard"...

That's what Bubba's going to do to you when you really f*ck up & end up in prison.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

This is not a black—white issue! It is about rioting and destruction of personal property. Over $100,000 and a 16 block of the community damaged and terrorized. Race has nothing to do with. Why do some people always have to play the race card. Stand up and walk and drop the crutch.

ProCop
ProCop

If they try to do that to MY place they'll end up in a box. No need to fear a trial for them.

TheDreammaker
TheDreammaker

They weren't arrested and tried for dissenting, but for destruction.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

There were people in a coffee shop that had bricks thrown through the windows and they were afraid for their lives. Would they have been prosecuted if they shot at whoever did that, fearing for their lives? I'm so sick and tired of the rioting and vandalism happening in this country. Perhaps they should all get jobs and work so they can keep themselves busy and out of trouble......... I wonder if Soros is still paying his "people" for destroying this country from within.

Ruger-Beretta
Ruger-Beretta

So if it wears a mask make a Sprinkler of them.

HighestCommDemonator
HighestCommDemonator

@Hi_estComnDenomn Wow did we already forget the 5 Dallas PD officers killed during a BLM demonstration? What about the Baton Rouge officers? Also a demonstration for BLM. The rule should be made once rioting commences anyone that legally owns a gun can take out rioters. No questions asked. Bet you don't see more rioters then. You're an idiot dude, and brush your teeth after eating that big bowl of dicks for breakfast.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@HighestCommDemonator mockery is the most sincere form of flattery. None of those bodies were from someone from BLM though.

And congrats, your comment has been flagged.

HighestCommDemonator
HighestCommDemonator

@Hi_estComnDenomn Mockery? You got me wrong dude, I don't suck dicks. Flagged? How gay are you anyway?

Necroignisamoron
Necroignisamoron

@hi_estlittleweenie, haha, pick me, pick me! I know the answer! SUPER GAY!