A Chicago police officer and his sister have been convicted of several counts related to the January 6th riot at the Capitol. The officer was convicted of entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in the Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building. The jury acquitted the police officer of another crime. He was accused of entering the office of Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley.
He is one of several individuals who have been charged with serious crimes related to the January 6th riot. The most serious charges have been filed against those who either attacked Capitol police that day or organized the event to storm the Capitol building during the swearing-in of incumbent President Joe Biden.
18 Years for Stewart Rhodes
Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years for the part he played in the January 6th riots. As a leader of the Oathkeepers, a far-right political group, he was charged with seditious conspiracy and given the longest sentence of any of the January 6th defendants. Prosecutors say that Rhodes engaged in a weeklong effort to derail the swearing-in of Joe Biden. He led dozens of individuals who descended on the Capitol.
Peter Schwartz Sentenced to 14 Years
Double-digit sentences were meted out to the organizers of the plan to descend on the Capitol and those who attacked law enforcement officers. Schwartz falls into the latter category. He was accused of assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers in the administration of their duty. He was convicted for throwing a chair at police officers and spraying them with pepper spray. His sentence of 14 years was the longest next to Rhodes.
Analyzing the Prosecutions of January 6th Rioters
Law enforcement has been targeting individuals who were involved in January 6th riots. Sentences have ranged from house arrest to 18 years behind bars. They have mostly recovered information from social media posts and videos posted of the January 6th riots as they happened. These videos then became evidence used against the rioters in a court of law.
In one case, Thomas Webster, a January 6th rioter, claimed self-defense after being accused of assaulting police officers. He was sentenced to 10 years after the jury rejected his claim of self-defense. He was the first to try a self-defense argument. The jury rejected his claim after evidence was presented that he tackled a police officer and attempted to remove his gas mask.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
David Freidberg represents the interests of defendants who facing federal charges in Chicago. Call our office today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.