Smashing a journalist’s equipment or attacking a journalist is NOT a federal crime, but the FBI has arrested at least 5 individuals for attacking reporters on January 6.
FBI agents arrested Joshua Dillon Haynes of Virginia on Thursday for damaging cameras, lights, tripods and other media equipment outside of the Capitol on January 6.
“They had to run away from us and leave all their equipment so we destroyed it,” Haynes said in a text message, according to an affidavit filed in Roanoke’s federal court. “i Kicked the fake news ass”
Joshua Haynes was the 5th person to be arrested for attacks on the media this week.
According to the Washington Post, 43-year-old Shane Jason Woods of Illinois was also charged for knocking over a cameraman on January 6.
Nearly six months after the U.S. Capitol riot, the Justice Department has begun arresting a new category of alleged criminals – those who attacked reporters or damaged their equipment as journalists documented the violence perpetrated by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Court papers filed in the “attacks on media” cases suggest that charging someone with assaulting a journalist or vandalizing their equipment is a bit more complex than other rioting charges.
Chase Kevin Allen, a 25-year-old man from Seekonk, Mass., was arrested this week on charges of engaging in violence and destroying property on the grounds of the Capitol. According to FBI papers filed in court against Allen, he was seen on video stomping on reporting equipment as a large group of individuals swarmed several reporters and drove them away. In one video, a person who appears to be Allen is seen cursing and yelling for the journalists to leave the area.
Earlier in the week, the Justice Department charged a woman with disorderly conduct and trespassing after videos showed her egging on an attack on a New York Times photographer inside the Capitol during the rioting. Investigators say that in one of the videos, Sandra Pomeroy Weyer of Mechanicsburg, Pa., can be heard calling the photographer a traitor and urging others to “get her out” and “mace her.”
Separately, two men from Long Island were charged with destroying media equipment. According to court papers, much of the key evidence against Gabriel Brown and Zvonimir Jurlina was contained in videos they took of themselves that day.
The FBI affidavit filed against Brown describes video of him denouncing the media as he and a group of others surround journalists’ television equipment and try to damage it.
“Smash that [expletive],” Brown said in one video, according to the court papers. “You know what, the media did not want to do its job so now they [expletive] can’t.”
Two-tiered justice system in 2021: Antifa-BLM terrorists light a federal court house on fire and walk free but a Trump supporter who smashed a reporter’s camera gets raided by the FBI.
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