Washington, DC – A jury in D.C. has found six J20 defendants not guilty on all charges, a major defeat for federal prosecutors in the first full trial. 188 individuals still face trial for participating in the inauguration-day protests against Trump in Washington, D.C. So far, 42 of the protest-related charges have been rejected at jury trial.
After the courtroom victory defendants cried and hugged supporters in the hallway as US Marshals aggressively reminded people not to record any media.
Unicorn Riot streamed live outside the courthouse after the verdict and was able to talk with cleared defendant Alexei Wood, who faced a possible sentence of decades in prison for livestreaming property damage associated with a group of people at the inauguration protests:
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 21, 2017
Defendants currently crying and hugging supporters in hallway as US Marshals aggressively remind people not to take pictures or video https://t.co/RlTpzFY3kl
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 21, 2017
We interviewed one of the jurors, Steve, after the not guilty verdict came down:
“It was not a close call. The prosecution admitted the morning of day one that they would present no evidence that any of the defendants committed any acts of violence or any vandalism.
From that point, before the defense ever uttered a sound, it was clear to me that ultimately we would find everyone not guilty. And while there was a great deal of careful discussion among the jurors, it ultimately at no point was … did it seem even possible that a guilty verdict would come down.
This was not close.” – Steve, a juror in the J20 trials
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 22, 2017
A statement was issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia regarding the verdicts today in the trial of six defendants charged with taking part in a riot on January 20, 2017:
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia believes that the evidence shows that a riot occurred on January 20, 2017, during which numerous public and private properties were damaged or destroyed. This destruction impacted many who live and work in the District of Columbia, and created a danger for all who were nearby. The criminal justice process ensures that every defendant is judged based on his or her personal conduct and intent. We appreciate the jury’s close examination of the individual conduct and intent of each defendant during this trial and respect its verdict. In the remaining pending cases, we look forward to the same rigorous review for each defendant.”
For in-depth coverage of how trial support played out, see our interview with the “Defend J20” team supporting Trump Inauguration arrestees:
J20 Trial Coverage & More:
- Criminalizing Dissent: Trials Begin for Trump Inauguration J20 Protests - November 29, 2017
- Criminalizing Dissent: Contested Evidence Introduced in J20 Trial Testimony - November 29, 2017
- Police Commander Behind J20 Arrests Joked About Holocaust, LGBTs - December 3, 2017
- Criminalizing Dissent: Trump Inauguration Protest Trial Enters Fourth Week - December 9, 2017
- Criminalizing Dissent: After Proving “Mere Presence” J20 Prosecution Rests Case - December 13, 2017
- Jury Finds Six #J20 Defendants “Not Guilty” on All Charges - December 21, 2017
- Interview: 188 Still Face Decades In Prison For Trump Inauguration Protest - January 13, 2018
- DC Mayor, Police Refuse to Release Financial Records of Trump Inauguration Investigation - January 17, 2018
- US Attorney Drops 129 Trump Inauguration Protest Cases, 59 Still Face Decades In Prison - January 18, 2018
- FERC Protest, Evict the DNC, & Disrupt the DeploraBall on the Eve of Trump’s Inauguration - January 23, 2017
- “No Peaceful Transition” for Trump as Thousands #DisruptJ20 in Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day - January 27, 2017
- 214 Indicted on Felony Riot Charges for Protesting Trump Inauguration - March 15, 2017
- Anti-Racist Coalition Rallies Against Fascism and State Repression at DC Police HQ - June 25, 2017
- Protesters Face 80 Years as US Attorney Brings Unprecedented Mass Felony Charges (Includes Interview with Olivia, a Defendant) - June 29, 2017
- J20 Defendant Dane Powell Sentenced to Four Months in Federal Prison - July 7, 2017
- J20 Indictment Challenged in Motions Hearing; One Count Dismissed - July 28, 2017
- Denver’s #J20 Protests: A Day of Unity, Militance, and Confrontation
- Hundreds of Minnesotans Protest, Take to the Streets on Trump’s Inauguration