Man is the first to have charges dropped related to the January 6 Capitol Hill riot
Man who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot is first to have charges dropped, according to federal prosecutors.
“The government and defense counsel have discussed the merits of the case, and upon reflection of the facts currently known to the government, the government believes that dismissal without prejudice at this time serves the interests of justice,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tejpal Chawla said.
The Justice Department has charged more than 450 people in the Capitol Hill riot, but Christopher Kelly is the first to have the Department withdraw their case against him. Kelly was arrested two weeks after the riot and was charged with unlawful entry, obstruction of an official proceeding, and other offenses.
Kelly was seen in photographs standing shirtless holding an American flag outside the Capitol building on Jan. 6, according to court documents. He was turned in by an anonymous tip to the FBI as taking part in the riot from pictures posted to his Facebook profile.
The anonymous informant took screenshots and gave them to the FBI, showing Kelly posting in a Facebook group that he intended to travel to Washington D.C. to protest Trump’s election loss. “I’ll be with an ex NYPD and some proud boys. This will be the most historic event of my life,” Kelly wrote, according to prosecutors.
Other screenshots of messages show Kelly admitting to being inside the Capitol when someone asked him if he had entered. “Sure spread the word, Taking this back by force now, no more bs,” he wrote.
“We’re inside! Hearing stopped, sending everyone to the basement,” Kelly sent to another person. Referring to the certification of President Biden’s electoral college victory.
The report of Kelly’s charges being dropped comes as new details emerge regarding the treatment of other Capitol Hill rioters who remain in jail until their trials.
A lawyer for one of the suspects told The Daily Mail that the prisoners are being “roughed up” and put in “solitary confinement” for periods of time up to 24 hours.
Joseph McBride, the lawyer for Richard Barnett, the 60-year-old man who famously put his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, claims that guards poor treatment of the prisoners is in solidarity with law enforcement who were protecting the Capitol.
McBride said guards have coined the term “1/6ers” to refer to the suspects and constantly say disparaging remarks to them like “the world hates them” and “they’ll spend the rest of their lives in here.”
‘The DC Central Detention Facility has become Guantanamo Bay for American Citizens,’ McBride said.
Ryan Samsel, another riot suspect, was allegedly beaten by a guard so badly that his jaw had to be wired shut, and he may lose one of his eyeballs, according to his lawyer Elisabeth Pasqualini. Samsel is accused of attacking a law enforcement officer on Jan. 6.
‘Mr. Samsel’s safety and medical wellbeing remains at risk as a result of his continued incarceration,’ she said.
The Independent Chronicle contacted the D.C Central Detention Facility for comment and did not immediately receive a response.