DOJ: More Than 300 Charged With Crimes Committed Near or at Protests Since May

September 24, 2020 Updated: September 30, 2020

More than 300 people have been charged with committing crimes “adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations since the end of May,” the Department of Justice announced on Sept. 24.

The alleged crimes were committed in 29 states and the District of Columbia, authorities said.

Assaulting a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, arson, and damaging federal property are among the charges filed by the DOJ.

About 80 people have been charged with offenses relating to arson and explosives; 15 have been charged with damaging federal property.

Rioters inflicted millions of dollars of damage to city and federal property across the United States in recent months, including the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, the Nashville City Hall in Tennessee, and the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, a federal building, in Portland, Oregon.

The alleged criminals have also targeted small and big businesses, such as Target Corp.’s headquarters in Minneapolis, a Boost Mobile store in Milwaukee, and a pizza parlor in Los Angeles.

Approximately 35 people have been charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer or a related crime. In one case, a man allegedly struck a U.S. Marshals deputy in Portland in the back with a wooden baseball bat. In another, a man allegedly fired at least 11 shots at officers in Boston, including a deputized federal officer.

arms next to cruiser
Kelsey Jackson, who pleaded guilty to arson of a Charleston Police Department cruiser, raises his arms during a riot in Charleston, S.C., May 30, 2020. (Department of Justice)
Horton strikes a deputy U.S. Marshal with bat
(L) Dakotah Ray Horton strikes a deputy U.S. Marshal with a wooden baseball bat. (DOJ)
(R) Second angle of Horton striking a deputy U.S. Marshal with a wooden baseball bat. (DOJ)

Some 30 people have been charged with civil disorder, including 11 in Portland, where unrest has shaken portions of the city since May 28 apart from a two-week respite as wildfires loomed.

William Grant Reuland, 24, was accused of directing high-powered lasers at the faces of several officers in downtown Portland in mid-June. When arrested, he said, “That’s not against the law,” according to court documents. Pedro Aldo Ramos Jr., 20, was accused of punching a female police officer in the face as she attempted to arrest a rioter in August.

An attorney representing Ramos declined to comment while the attorney representing Reuland didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Federal investigations into crimes committed during protests and riots this year are continuing, officials said. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or the FBI.

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