A New Mexico man was found not guilty on misdemeanor charges stemming from the January 6th Capitol Riot. News this morning reads:
“The whole time he’s in there he’s just standing there,” Cron said.
Romano, the Justice Department prosecutor, said Martin joined the mob in crowding police officers who were trying to disperse the crowd. The prosecutor said Martin knew that he wasn’t allowed to be in the Capitol.
“The idea that he thought he had permission to do that is nonsense,” Romano said.
Other riot defendants have also claimed police waved them in or said they could enter, but it is unclear how that testimony will be viewed by the courts.
The original article was written by Michael Kunzelman, Judge Acquits Man Of Misdemeanors In Capitol Riot Trial in the Associated Press.
The article says that “Matthew Martin testified that a police officer waved him into the building after the riot erupted”.
The prosecution arguing “The idea that he thought he had permission to do that is nonsense” caught my eye and made me wonder if a different judge would have created a different outcome. Plenty of people have been charged for being in the Capitol that day, but I don’t think that they understood that they were supposed to leave after they had entered. Surely the people that witnessed violence and saw the officers having a hard time knew that something wasn’t right and that it was time to go, but there was so much going on that day and so many people that not everyone saw everything that was happening.
The idea that the prosecution thinks that people knew that they were not allowed to stand in the Capitol also raises questions. People are invited to the Capitol all of the time. Tours of the Capitol happen regularly. Until January 6th people visited the Capitol daily. There were no fences. Appointments could be made to talk with representatives. Advocates for change could even walk the halls knocking on doors.
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