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Prosecutors drop remaining Inauguration Day rioting charges


Prosecutors said that because they were unable to secure convictions in a number of cases related to rioting on Inauguration Day, they were dropping charges against the remaining cases. File Photo by Skye McKee/UPI | License Photo

By Danielle Haynes, UPI

Federal prosecutors dropped charges Friday against the remaining 38 protesters arrested during President Donald Trump's inauguration, court documents indicate.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia made the decision to drop the rioting charges after 21 people pleaded guilty. Police initially arrested and charged 234 people with rioting.

[post_ads]Prosecutors dropped cases against 129 people in January in order to focus attention on more serious offenses. Six defendants who went to trial were acquitted of charges and prosecutors said they'd be unable to secure convictions for dozens of others.

Called out for individual acts of vandalism, violence and destruction, prosecutors alleged the protesters engaged in "black bloc" tactics Jan. 20, 2017, during Trump's swearing-in, causing damage to vehicles and property. Six police officers also were hurt during the protests as they exchanged flash-bang explosives with protesters hurling rocks and firecrackers at them.

Police said the protests resulted in more than $100,000 in damage across Washington, D.C.

"The destruction that occurred during these criminal acts was in sharp contrast to the peaceful demonstrations and gatherings that took place over the Inauguration weekend in the District of Columbia, and created a danger for all who were nearby," the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C., said.

"In light of the results in the cases brought to trial, however, the U.S. Attorney's Office has now moved to dismiss charges against the 38 remaining defendants in this matter," the statement added.

Defense attorneys said prosecutors overreached in most of the cases, saying their clients were peaceful protesters caught up in arrests of the more violent rioters.


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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Prosecutors drop remaining Inauguration Day rioting charges
Prosecutors drop remaining Inauguration Day rioting charges
U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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