DC Judge Reduces 2 Felony Charges Against Inauguration Day 'Rioters' - NBC4 Washington

DC Judge Reduces 2 Felony Charges Against Inauguration Day 'Rioters'



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    Bill Hennessy
    Dozens of people charged with rioting on Inauguration Day pack a D.C. court room in July.

    A D.C. judge reduced two felony charges to misdemeanors Wednesday in cases against 190 protesters accused of rioting on Inauguration Day.

    More than 200 were arrested and charged with rioting on Inauguration Day after self-described anti-capitalists broke windows and set fire to a limousine in D.C. Many claimed they were swept up in a mass arrest for no reason. Charges against some were dropped.

    In an indictment in April, many of those arrested were charged with at least eight felonies each, including riot, inciting a riot, conspiracy to riot and property destruction.

    In July, dozens of people packed into a court room for a hearing. Extra chairs were brought in and lawyers stood in the hallway as the room filled to capacity.

    On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz reduced the charges of “engaging in riot” and “conspiracy to riot” from felonies to misdemeanors.

    The first seven trials of the more than 190 defendants going to trial are scheduled to begin this month.

    Each defendant still faces up to 60 years in prison for the remaining felony charges, a statement from the group Defend J20 Resistance said. The group claims to advocate for those charged in the case.