Evie Fordham, DCNF
The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office dropped all charges Friday against people awaiting trial for allegedly rioting during President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day.
Police arrested 234 people on January 20, 2017, for rioting that was allegedly spearheaded by a group that calls themselves DisruptJ20. Protesters caused more than $100,000 in damage by setting fires and smashing store windows, reported The Washington Post.
Although 21 people pleaded guilty before trial, prosecutors failed to secure any convictions for the protesters who went to trial. The attorney’s office filed a motion to dismiss the remaining 38 protesters awaiting trial, reported Zoe Tillman of BuzzFeed News.
The attorney’s office still had a few last words for protesters in a statement made after filing the motion to dismiss.
“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 statement said.
The attorney’s office had already dropped charges against 150 of the defendants after the first six alleged rioters were acquitted, WaPo reported. Prosecution sometimes used videos they said showed defendants smashing windows, but jurors said the videos were too fuzzy to draw conclusions.
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