Inauguration Protesters Charged With Five Felonies Found Not Guilty

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On Thursday, a Washington, D.C., jury acquitted a group of six activists facing felony charges stemming from Inauguration Day protests.

Over 200 people were arrested during President Donald Trump's inauguration in January. The inauguration-day protests resulted in more than $100,000 in damages across D.C. The six defendants acquitted today were the first to face trial.

Since their arrest on January 20th, the protesters have being fighting charges including destruction of property and two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a riot. The defense argued that the six activists being prosecuted were not personally responsible for all the damage; the prosecution argued that protesters in the presence of the rioters who destroyed property aided and abetted the criminal activity.

"They conspired by joining in the group to do unlawful things on the streets of your city," said Assistant United States Attorney Rizwan Qureshi, according to the Hill.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz dismissed the most serious of the charges—inciting a riot—earlier this month. After a two-week trial, and days of deliberation, a jury found the six protesters not guilty of the remaining charges today. The decision could influence the outcome for the remaining defendants, who are expected to stand trial beginning in January.

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