Seattle woman who burned five cop cars during 2020 riots learns her prison sentence

Margaret Channon has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of arson for burning five Seattle police cars during the summer of unrest that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

The 25-year-old Tacoma resident reportedly used some sort of aerosol can and a lighter to create a makeshift blowtorch which she used to light unoccupied police vehicles on fire. She continued to spray the cars down with flames to keep them burning, reports say, in her attempt to destroy them.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg accused Channon of leaving the downtown area of Seattle in flames and “in billowing smoke” in a statement to U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour.

“She wasn’t alone, but Ms. Channon set the tone for what that protest became moving forward. Ms. Channon left downtown Seattle in flames and in billowing smoke,” he said.

Channon apologized for her actions, but only insofar as they affected her fellow activists and their mission, and how she, as a white woman, negatively impacted the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I apologize to the many workers and activists – who have given decades of their lives to building a countermeasure to police violence – that did not want to see fire. I had intended to effect positive change, but my attempt was misguided,” she said.

Channon’s mom, in what is perhaps a peek behind the curtain at how the young woman was raised, claimed the pandemic, the death of Channon’s grandmothers, and the protests as potential reasons she lit five police cruisers on fire and kept them that way until they were destroyed.

“It´s a very difficult time to be young and sensitive, and to suffer losses,” her mother wrote, noting that Channon’s family has a history of civil service.

In a similar example of rioter-related justice, BizPac Review reported in February that Mohamed Hussein Abdi received probation and was forced to pay $34,000 to a Minnesota high school after attempting to set it on fire during another George Floyd-related riot. He will be on probation for five years and was a teenager at the time of the incident.


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