Politics

Federal judge accuses DOJ of treating Capitol rioters “unfairly” in comparison with 2020 BLM rioters

U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, who sentenced a Jan. 6 rioter to probation on Friday, rejecting a harsher punishment requested by prosecutors, suggested the Justice Department was being too hard on the Jan. 6 defendants and not hard enough on those accused in riots from last summer.

The federal judge questioned why prosecutors had not brought more cases against those accused in 2020 summertime riots, reading out statistics on riot cases in the nation’s capital that were not prosecuted. “I think the U.S. attorney would have more credibility if it was even-handed in its concern about riots and mobs in this city,” McFadden said during the sentencing of Danielle Doyle, who illegally entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Prosecutors recommended two months of home confinement for Doyle, who is from Oklahoma. The statements by McFadden, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, were a major departure from the other federal judges overseeing Capitol riot cases so far.

Estimates suggest that the US Capitol suffered nearly $1.5 million in damages during the January 6 riot. Prosecutors are reportedly pursuing $2,000 in restitution for every felony case and $500 for every misdemeanor. While most, if not all, of the arrested rioters have been issued a fine, the rest of the bill will likely be paid by taxpayers.

CNN reported 3 days after the Capitol riot that a mere 61 Capitol rioters were arrested on the day of the event, compared with the 316 who were arrested on June 1, 2020, which was the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last year. CNN had argued that this was clear evidence of unfair treatment, but today, the number of arrests made for January 6 rioters has climbed to over 600.

Polling shows that a large majority of Americans support the idea of investigating both the 2020 riots in America’s cities and the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. However, RealClearInvestigations has found that authorities have pursued the largely Trump-supporting Capitol rioters with substantially more vigor than they did with the 2020 summer rioters.

They also reportedly found that the summer 2020 riots resulted in some 15 times more injured police officers, 30 times as many arrests, and estimated damages in dollar terms up to 1,300 times more costly than those of the Capitol riot. George Floyd rioters were reported to have used more sophisticated and dangerous tactics than did the Capitol rioters, and in some cases weapons of greater lethality.

According to an April report by The Guardian, at least 90 percent of charges against Black Lives Matter protesters in a dozen jurisdictions were dropped, dismissed or not filed. In Houston and Los Angeles, The Guardian found, 93 percent of charges were either dropped or never filed; in some cities like Dallas and Philadelphia, that number rose to 95 percent of charges dropped or never prosecuted. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, 100 percent of 127 cases were dropped.

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNN

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