PRESS RELEASE APRIL 28: INAUGURATION DAY PROTESTERS DECRY SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT CHARGING THEM EACH WITH SEVERAL MORE FELONIES
By PRESS RELEASE
Defend J20 Resistance
For Immediate Release: April 28, 2017
Inauguration Day Protesters Decry Superseding Indictment Charging Them Each With Several More Felonies
Meanwhile, More Than 100 Defendants Have Agreed To Work Together And Are Refusing To Testify Against Co-Defendants
Washington, DC – Activists arrested during the inauguration of President Trump are condemning a superseding indictment filed yesterday by US Attorney Channing D. Phillips.
The superseding indictment newly charges three people with felonies and applies several additional felony charges to the more than 200 people arrested on January 20.
Charges against defendants now include felony “inciting or urging to riot,” “rioting,” “conspiracy to riot,” “destruction of property,” and misdemeanor “assault on a police officer,”
but the indictment provides no new evidence to back up the charges. “We haven’t seen a shred of new evidence to support this superseding indictment,” said Sarah Hailey, one of the defendants
arrested on January 20. “The prosecutor is just using excessive charges in order to scare and coerce us into pleading guilty.”
The superseding indictment comes as Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff offered plea deals to multiple defendants in court today, seeking convictions in cases that have barely been
prosecuted yet. In one rebuffed plea deal, Kerkhoff offered to downgrade a defendant’s charges to misdemeanor riot if the defendant agreed to testify against their romantic partner at trial.
“The prosecutor is using the threat of years in prison to obtain convictions before she has even bothered to make a case against anyone,” said Olivia Alsip, one of the felony defendants who
was offered, but refused, a plea deal. “Many defendants, like myself, believe their charges are politically motivated and want to take their cases to trial.”
The news of additional felony charges comes as nearly half of the Inauguration Day defendants—more than one hundred people—have announced their intention to work collectively together to
fight their charges. The defendants have established “Points of Unity,” which include an agreement not to “cooperate against any of our co-defendants, nor accept any plea deals that
cooperate with prosecutors at the expense of other co-defendants.”