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.
California’s Santa Clara County, Reportedly the Last Place in America to Prohibit Indoor Worship, Finally Lifts Ban Following Supreme Court Order
Santa Clara County is home to Silicon Valley.
The Supreme Court issued an order on Friday that required California’s Santa Clara County to lift its prohibition on indoor religious services.
Santa Clara County is home to Silicon Valley and the city of San Jose. It may have been the last place in the United States to maintain its indoor worship ban prior to the Supreme Court order, which came almost a full year after the in-earnest beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in America.
Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Jose said in a Friday night statement that “I join all Catholics and people of faith in Santa Clara County in expressing our satisfaction in tonight’s U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting Santa Clara County’s ban on indoor worship services. Santa Clara was the only county in the country to continue such a ban. Banning indoor worship and yet allowing people to gather at airports, personal services establishments, and retail shopping is unconstitutional—and the Supreme Court has said so several times.”
Religious services in Santa Clara County, however, cannot take place at more than 20 percent capacity and without strict mask, social distancing, and sanitization protocols.
After hearing the South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom case, SCOTUS ruled on February 5 in favor of the former and effectively mandated that the state of California lift its ban on indoor religious services. Santa Clara County tried to maintain that the ruling didn’t apply to them because their county directives did not specifically target religious worship, but the court is evidently not buying that explanation given Friday’s order.
The decision back in 2020 to deem religious services “non-essential” was disastrous and evil from the beginning. Glad the Supreme Court has been doing its part to rectify that injustice.
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