‘Violent and Destructive’ Inauguration Day Protesters Could Face 10 Years in Prison

On inauguration day, people from all over the country came to show their support for the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. However, many people also traveled to Washington, D.C., to express their contempt for the leader of the free world.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Jewel Samad

After the official swearing-in ceremony, protests quickly turned violent and resulted in more than $100,000 in damages, according to the Daily Mail. “Anti-fascist” protesters smashed store windows, burned trash cans in the street, damaged a police vehicle, and lit a limousine on fire.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

A Facebook group created for the “Not My President,” protest said:

“Join us on Inauguration Day to make our voices heard. We refuse to recognize Donald Trump as the President of the United States, and refuse to take orders from a government that puts bigots into power. We have to make it clear to the public that we did not choose this man for office and that we won’t stand for his ideologies.”

Now, protesters may be learning the hard lesson that comes with the responsibility of “free speech,” and “having your voice heard.”

As reported by CNN, 214 of the more than 400 people present have been indicted on felony riot charges. Last month, 209 people were charged, and on Tuesday D.C.’s grand jury indicted five more people — Alessandro Pane, Alexei Wood, Kaitlyn Rorke, Matthew Pink and Dane Powell, according to the International Business Times.

The indictment reportedly accused the suspects of committing, “violent and destructive acts,” including the assault of the limousine driver. It also allegedly accused those charged with using black bloc attire to conceal their identities.

The Daily Mail wrote that some of those who have been charged had their phones seized by D.C. police upon their arrests.  The outlet also claimed that police are engaging in a social media investigation to build their case.

A search warrant will allow Facebook to turn over messages, photos, videos, timelines posts, and location information, according to Facebook’s guidelines.

IP addresses of the cell phones could allow police to prove suspects were at the scene of the protest during the time of the unrest.

CBS’s WTVR identified that felony rioting charges come with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.

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