Thomas Webster sentenced to 10 years in jail for assaulting an officer throughout January 6, 2021 riot on the US Capitol.
A retired New York Police Division (NYPD) officer has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for assaulting an officer with a flagpole throughout final yr’s assault on the US Capitol, the longest sentence handed out up to now in relation to the January 6 riot.
Thomas Webster, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD, was sentenced on Thursday after being discovered responsible in Could of assaulting a Washington, DC police officer through the riot.
US District Decide Amit Mehta sentenced the 56-year-old to 10 years in jail plus three years of supervised launch, however allowed Webster to report back to jail at a date to be decided as a substitute of instantly ordering him into custody.
“Mr Webster, I don’t suppose you’re a foul individual,” the choose mentioned on Thursday. “I believe you have been caught up in a second. However as you recognize, even getting caught up in a second has penalties.”
About 250 folks have been punished for collaborating within the riot on the Capitol, which noticed a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters storm the constructing in an try to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
In a courtroom submitting, prosecutors accused Webster of “disgracing a democracy”.
“Every particular person assault on an officer on the West Plaza weakened the line of defense, fueled the group, and introduced the rioters one step nearer towards disrupting our democracy,” they wrote.
Webster was the primary Capitol riot defendant to be tried on assault fees and argued that he had acted in self-defence in opposition to a “rogue cop” who had instigated the combat.
A jury rejected that declare and located that Webster had tackled Metropolitan Police Division officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his fuel masks exterior the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Physique digicam footage confirmed Webster yelling at Rathbun after which slamming a motorbike rack at him.
In Could, jurors convicted Webster of all six counts in his indictment, together with a cost that he assaulted Rathbun with a harmful weapon, the flagpole.
Federal prosecutors had beneficial a jail sentence of 17 years and 6 months, claiming that Webster had performed an vital position as the group charged police barricades on the Capitol’s Decrease West Plaza.
Defence lawyer James Monroe argued that Webster was “swept up within the fervour of the big crowd” however didn’t be a part of different rioters in getting into the Capitol constructing.
Webster drove alone to Washington, DC, from his house close to Goshen, New York, on the eve of the January 6 “Cease the Steal” rally, the place Trump delivered an incendiary speech to hundreds of supporters.
Webster was carrying a bulletproof vest and carrying a Marine Corps flag on a steel pole when he joined the group that stormed the Capitol.
Webster mentioned he went to the Capitol to ask legislators to “relook” on the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election however claimed that he didn’t intend to intervene with Congress’s efforts to certify Biden’s victory.
“I want the horrible occasions of that day had by no means occurred,” he instructed the choose on Thursday.
Mehta mentioned Rathbun, the police officer, was not Webster’s solely sufferer on January 6. “The opposite sufferer was democracy, and that isn’t one thing that may be taken frivolously,” the choose added.