WASHINGTON – Since May 2020, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has charged more than 156 individuals for protest-related violence, marking the highest number of people charged in any federal district in the United States.
These cases include Brennan Sermon, who was charged with assaulting a police officer who was responding to assist officers protecting Senator Rand Paul on August 28, 2020; six people who were charged for their role in inciting violence and destroying federal monuments in Lafayette Square on June 22, 2020; and 20 people who have been charged with assaults on civilians and police officers. Additionally, an individual who defaced the Lincoln Monument on May 30, 2020, was criminally charged with Destruction of Government Property.
“Freedom of expression and the ability to openly voice dissent remains the bedrock of our democracy. As we have unfortunately witnessed in the District of Columbia over the past several months, scores of individuals have committed criminal acts upon innocent people and property under the guise of free expression. This will not be condoned,” stated Michael R. Sherwin, the Acting United Stated Attorney for the District of Columbia.
“Nevertheless, this office will only prosecute individuals or groups of individuals when enough evidence exists to both identify and criminally charge bad actors and it will never waiver in meeting that burden as the law requires.”
Investigations are on-going and robust. The Metropolitan Police Department, in conjunction with federal law enforcement partners, continue to analyze and investigate these criminal actors to ensure we understand if there is an organized architecture among suspected actors that enable such criminal behavior. Their tireless efforts on this front will not end.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Columbia