Criminal Charges Against Protestors Go Federal

The Federal Docket

June 15, 2020

Federal prosecutors in New York recently announced indictments against three protestors who were arrested in New York City during recent demonstrations against police brutality. The three individuals are accused of throwing explosive devices at police cars during two separate incidents in May. The charges include arson, possession of explosives and destructive devices, and public disorder. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that “they potentially face up to life in prison” if convicted on all charges.

The federal government announced these charges after the DOJ announced charges against over 50 other protestors for a variety of crimes, including aiming a laser pointer at a police aircraft, impersonating a US marshal, looting from police stations, and inciting a riot. The charges were brought in several different states. Some of these “protestors” were not actually protestors at all, but were rather instigators who are part of a separate movement that believes in an impending civil war. Case in point, the individuals charged with impersonating a US marshal have prior charges of impersonating law enforcement.

In more local news, federal prosecutors indicted several men from Gainesville with federal arson charges after they allegedly set a police car on fire while it was parked at an officer’s residence.

The arrests came after accusations that AG Barr and the federal government had been acting too heavy-handed with the protestors, the vast majority of whom have been peaceful.

Read about the three arrested protestors at Yahoo News.

Read about the charges against 50+ individuals at the NY Post and Politico.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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