Washington, DC - An additional 146 people have been indicted by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in connection with the massive rioting that occurred on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.
According to WJLA, the Superior Court handed down the indictments on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia said that the charges resulted from incidents that occurred in the four-block area from the intersection of 13th Street and O Street NW to the intersection of 12th Street and L Street NW.
On January 20, 2017, shortly after the Inauguration of President Trump, massive riots broke out in D.C. A total of 230 people were arrested on that day and 219 have since been indicted for Felony Rioting. Twelve cases so far have been dismissed. D.C. Police said that the investigation into the rioting is ongoing.
All defendants charged with Felony Rioting can face up a fine of more than $25,000 and a maximum of up to 10 years in prison.
What started of with protests escalated to rioting, as those involved started smashing windows, starting fires, blocking entrances to inauguration festivities, and throwing feces, bottles full of nails, bricks, and explosives at police.
Unlike recent riots were rioters were mostly able to escape, many of these these rioters were trapped by police, arrested, and charged.
Washington, DC Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham said that police officers used flash-bangs and pepper spray to deal with the out-of-control rioters. The U.S. Attorney's Office continues to investigate.
It has also been announced that the rioters are suing the police for arresting them, with the attorneys and media drawing comparisons to the 400 people arrested during the 2002 World Bank. During those arrests in 2002, police had given protesters an order to disperse, but their routes to disperse were all blocked. The city had to pay out $13.25 million in the resulting lawsuit.
The inauguration rioters are hoping for a similar payout, except the difference is that these rioters were actively engaging in violence and destruction. There was already probable cause to arrest them for rioting without a dispersal order being given. When people are assaulting officers and destroying property they don't need to be given a chance to disperse; they are committing felony crimes and need to be arrested.
Do you believe that any of these rioters will actually be convicted on their felony charges? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page or in the comments below.