On January 20, 2017, thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump flocked to Washington, DC, hoping to witness his historic inauguration. Instead, many were forced to face off with violent black-clad rioters creating chaos in the streets.
During the riot six police officers were injured, businesses were vandalized, multiple people were assaulted and a limousine was spray painted and set on fire.
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) January 20, 2017
Over 200 people, including some who claim to be journalists, were arrested in the mayhem.
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) January 20, 2017
“At approximately 10:30 a.m., an organized group was observed marching south in Northwest Washington,” Metropolitan police said in a press release in January. “On their way, members of the group acting in a concerted effort engaged in acts of vandalism and several instances of destruction of property. More specifically, the group damaged vehicles, destroyed the property of multiple businesses, and ignited smaller isolated fires while armed with crowbars, hammers, and asps. Preliminary information indicates the group collectively engaged in these criminal acts.”
BREAKING NEWS: Washington, DC police responding to reports of anti Trump protesters smashing shop windows. pic.twitter.com/nLPB2oAV3m
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) January 20, 2017
On Monday, Michelle Macchio, 26, of Naples, Fla., Jennifer Armento, 38, of Philadelphia, Christina Simmons, 20, of Cockeysville, Md., Alexi Wood, 33, of Hyattsville, Md., Oliver Harris, 28, of Philadelphia and Brittne Lawson, 27, of Pittsburgh, became the first six defendants to face trial.
Each of the defendants is facing felony charges of inciting a riot and destruction of property — each of which carries a maximum penalty of a decade behind bars. The group is also facing multiple lesser charges.
When questioning the first round of jurors about whether or not they could be impartial, none of the potential members of the jury could answer affirmatively. One man detailed how he has relatives who are in law enforcement and would give extra weight to the testimony of an officer, so he was dismissed.
“Another woman was sent home after she said her nephew, who is a police officer, was injured in the riots,” the Post reported.
Of the 212 arrested, 20 people have already pleaded guilty and charges were dropped for another 20. According to the Washington Post, trials for the others, in groups of five or more, are set to occur almost monthly through mid-2018.