Washington, D.C. - 31-year-old Dane Powell has become the first Inauguration Day rioter to be sentenced, but his sentence seems like a joke considering his crimes.
Dane Powell took a very active role in the rioting on President Donald Trump's Inauguration day. In April, he accepted a plea deal to plead guilty to only one count of assault on a police officer and inciting a riot, which are both felonies. He had initially faced 14 charges.
At sentencing on Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff played a video which shows 10 minutes of Powell throwing rocks and bricks at police, and shattering store windows, according to Washington Post.
Powell attempted to conceal his identity with a mask, but he was able to be identified by his eyes, clothing, and flag he was carrying.
“He initiated violence,” Kerkhoff said. “He came to the District of Columbia to engage in violence by hiding his face, throwing rocks and running. He’s a violent coward.”
Rocks and bricks are potentially deadly weapons, making his crimes that much more serious. One officer was knocked unconscious when he was hit by a brick.
“He was throwing rocks and bricks at windows where people, customers and children were inside. He charged the police line with bricks,” Kerkhoff said. “Mr. Powell is among the most violent” of the rioters.
Despite the fact that Dane Powell arrived with a mask, dressed in black, with what appears to be a pre-meditated plan to riot, his attorney blamed the police for the violence and said that the "protesters" were just responding to officers. His attorney also claimed that Powell has spent his life protesting for peace.
Giving him credit for pleading guilty early, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff asked Judge Leibovitz to sentence him to only six months in jail.
However, Judge Leibovitz thought that six months was excessive for a man who assaulted multiple officers with a deadly weapon.
“He separated himself from others and deliberately destroyed property. He deliberately tried to hurt people, although he did not personally succeed," the judge said before sentencing Dane Powell to four months in jail with two years of probation.