A federal judge in Washington, DC, has issued a warning about the risks of future political violence and the dangers of ongoing misinformation and denial. January 6 Attack on the Capitol.
During sentencing hearings against 21-year-old North Carolina resident Aiden Bilyard, he admitted to spraying police with bear spray and smashing the windows of the Capitol with a metal bat during the Jan. 6 riots. Justice Reggie Walton said the United States was in a “terrifying moment” when democracy was at stake.
Walton, who has dealt with the January 6th incident, said, “As a country we are stuck in, it’s terrifying to move on.” Unfortunately, it’s something that still haunts us today, because the individuals who instigated what happened followed the same rhetoric that led to the frenzy that took place on January 6th. It’s a very serious situation and it’s at the core of what we are supposed to be as a democracy.”
Bilyard’s attorneys unsuccessfully sought a house arrest sentence at a hearing on Friday, claiming he regretted his actions. It said it was subject to unwelcome propaganda and influence by other January 6 defendants, including its founders. stewart rose — In pretrial detention in Virginia. But Walton said the billiards crime of spraying a police officer with bear spray, a gel considered particularly dangerous, was too serious for the leniency of home detention. After Walton also warned Billard of the danger of spreading misinformation about the Capitol riot, he sentenced him to 40 months in prison.
Walton, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2001, has since called the Jan. 6 defendant a “political prisoner” and misinformed about what happened inside the Capitol that day. , said he wasn’t sure how people would “live their lives.”
Walton did not name a specific person, but on January 6, the defendants and their supporters held nightly protests outside a Washington, D.C. prison. At Thursday’s protest, the Jan. 6 defendant called the Capitol attack a bait operation he called the FBI and Antifa.
Several lawmakers, including Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, called the January 6 defendant a “political prisoner.” Fox News host Tucker Carlson is also accused. make unfounded And the “cherry-pick” claim about the attack.
“Democracy cannot survive when there are so many people trying to overturn the electoral process because the result is not what they wanted,” Walton said at the Byard hearing. “I mean, it’s a sad situation we’re in at this point where somebody loses, loses by 7 million votes, and nevertheless believes they won. And we believe that was the case.” There are 60 lawsuits dismissing the proposition that the election was somehow stolen.
Walton criticized those who followed the “call of demagogues.”
There was an explosion in the courtroom when Walton announced Byard’s verdict. His mother protested his decision, saying, “This is not right.”
“He has made his bed,” Walton replied of the beard. “Now he must lie in it.”
“Billyard pointed a canister nozzle at an officer who was trying to prevent the mob from advancing further toward the Capitol,” according to a news release from the Justice Department Friday after the verdict. Immediately after he dispensed the irritant, Billard and other mobs overwhelmed the line of police, who retreated through the stairwell to the Lower West Terrace. ”
At the hearing, prosecutors said BIlyard’s actions helped the mob enter the Senate chamber. He said he shared the door with the mob who was attacking police.