Court records rebut claims of unequal treatment for January 6 demonstrators compared to law-breaking BLM rioters.
Following the arrest of 500 Americans present on Capitol grounds, critics suggested the demonstrators were receiving unfair punishment for their political views. Some suggested January 6 protestors were treated more harshly than the protestors who rioted, looted businesses, and set fires after the death of George Floyd last summer.
Seeking to counter these claims, the Associated Press (AP) assessed over 300 federal court cases related to the protests following George Floyd’s death and the rise of the organization Black Lives Matter (BLM).
The report reads, “The AP found that more than 120 defendants across the United States have pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial of federal crimes including rioting, arson and conspiracy. More than 70 defendants who’ve been sentenced so far have gotten an average of about 27 months behind bars. At least 10 received prison terms of five years or more.”
Some journalists have suggested the allegations of unequal treatment stem from racial differences since the January 6th protestors were “mostly white” and BLM protestors were “more diverse.”
Kent Greenfield, a professor at Boston College Law School, said, “The property damage or accusations of arson and looting from last year, those were serious and they were dealt with seriously, but they weren’t an attack on the very core constitutional processes that we rely on in a democracy, nor were they an attack on the United States Congress.”
Another point of controversy between the two demonstrators is the cost of damages. Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said, “Where we have Congress acting, appropriating all this money due directly to the events of January 6, I have found the damage amount of less than $1.5 million – when all of us American taxpayers are about to foot the bill for close to half a billion dollars – a little bit surprising.”
Misdemeanor cases among the protestors of January 6th will request $500, while felonies are at $2,000. On the other hand, restitution among BLM rioters last summer operates on a case by case basis, and the American taxpayer is not asked to pay for their damages.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: OIL CITY NEWS
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