- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2017

A D.C. Superior Court jury on Thursday acquitted six defendants, including a Texan photojournalist, of rioting during protests against President Trump’s inauguration in January.

D.C. police herded together hundreds of protesters at the Jan. 20 inauguration and arrested 212 on felony rioting charges after some demonstrators turned violent. The vandals broke windows, lit newspapers on fire and damaged a limousine, causing $100,000 in damage, authorities said.

The six defendants in Thursday’s case did not vandalize any property, but prosecutors argued they were guilty of rioting because their presence at the protest gave cover to those who did.

The trial gained widespread media attention for concerns over privacy violations as police worked to identify the vandals from protesters, all of whom wore black.

Last month a D.C. Superior Court judge also curbed federal prosecutors’ access to Facebook searches.

Twenty other defendants have pleaded guilty to rioting charges. Another 188 defendants are scheduled to appear in court beginning next month.

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