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 Might of assaulting a Washington, DC police officer in the course of the riot.
US District Choose 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 decide mentioned on Thursday. “I feel you have been caught up in a second. However as you already know, even getting caught up in a second has penalties.”
About 250 individuals have been punished for taking part within the riot on the Capitol, which noticed a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters storm the constructing in an try to forestall 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 gang, 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 costs and argued that he had acted in self-defence in opposition to a “rogue cop” who had instigated the battle.
A jury rejected that declare and located that Webster had tackled Metropolitan Police Division officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his fuel masks outdoors the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Physique digicam footage confirmed Webster yelling at Rathbun after which slamming a motorbike rack at him.
In Might, 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 advisable a jail sentence of 17 years and 6 months, claiming that Webster had performed an vital position as the gang 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 massive crowd” however didn’t be part of different rioters in coming into the Capitol constructing.
Webster drove alone to Washington, DC, from his residence close to Goshen, New York, on the eve of the January 6 “Cease the Steal” rally, the place Trump delivered an incendiary speech to 1000’s of supporters.
Webster was carrying a bulletproof vest and carrying a Marine Corps flag on a steel pole when he joined the gang 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 intrude 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 decide 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 evenly,” the decide added.