Federal prosecutors announced they will move forward with cases against 188 additional inauguration protesters in spite of the fact that the first six were acquitted of all charges on Thursday.
Jurors found the six protesters not guilty of conspiracy to riot and destroy property charges that carry decades-long sentences. More than 20 trials for the other 188 people will begin in January and continue throughout next year.
In a statement to VICE News Bill Miller, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, said prosecutors look forward to the coming trials.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia believes that the evidence shows that a riot occurred on January 20, 2017, during which numerous public and private properties were damaged or destroyed. This destruction impacted many who live and work in the District of Columbia, and created a danger for all who were nearby. The criminal justice process ensures that every defendant is judged based on his or her personal conduct and intent. We appreciate the jury’s close examination of the individual conduct and intent of each defendant during this trial and respect its verdict. In the remaining pending cases, we look forward to the same rigorous review for each defendant.
Among the six people aquitted Thursday are a photojournalist and two medics who were carrying first aid supplies during the Jan. 20 protests that turned violent. The government did not present any evidence of the six protestors destroying property, but alleged they were part of a riot conspiracy.