- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 8, 2017

The first of more than 200 protesters criminally charged with rioting during President Trump’s inauguration was sentenced to four months behind bars Friday after pleading guilty to a pair of felonies.

Dane Powell, 31, was arrested along with 233 others on January 20 and initially faced a total of 14 charges before pleading guilty in April to rioting and assaulting a police officer.

Powell had traveled from Florida to peacefully protest Mr. Trump’s swearing-in but “got carried away,” his attorney, Ashley Jones, said during Friday’s sentencing hearing in Washington, D.C., The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Indeed, investigators showed video evidence during Friday’s hearing of Powell breaking windows and throwing rocks at police officers during a destructive Inauguration Day melee on the streets of D.C.

Powell conceded in court filings to participating in a “black bloc” protest in which over 200 people wore “black or dark colored clothing, gloves, scarves, sunglasses, ski masks, gas masks, goggles, helmets, hoodies and other face-concealing and face-protecting items to conceal their identities.”

Powell “admitted being part of a group of rioters who moved approximately 16 blocks over a period of more than 30 minutes,” the Justice Department said in press release Friday. “He also admitted that he participated in breaking windows at two businesses and throwing a brick, large rock, or piece of concrete at uniformed law enforcement officers during the riot.”

“He initiated violence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff said at Friday’s hearing. “He came to the District of Columbia to engage in violence by hiding his face, throwing rocks and running. He’s a violent coward.”

“He was throwing rocks and bricks at windows where people, customers and children were inside,” she said. “He charged the police line with bricks.”

Prosecutors sought and received a 36-month sentence for Powell, a U.S. Army veteran, but D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz suspended all but four months on condition he successfully complete two years of supervised probation.

“I stand before you today asking for forgiveness for anyone who was scared, hurt or felt threatened by me on that day,” he said during Friday’s hearing, The Times reported.

A total of 234 people were arrested and charged with rioting during January’s inauguration, but Powell was the first to plead guilty. Fifteen others have pleaded to misdemeanor charges, The Times reported. Another 198 cases are still pending and 20 have been dismissed.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide