Oct 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 rioter who filmed himself assaulting an officer pleads guilty

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Trump supporters clash with police at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A Jan. 6 rioter who filmed himself assaulting a police officer pleaded guilty Friday to a pair of felony charges, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Ronald Sandlin, a 35-year-old from Tennessee, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, per the DOJ.

What happened: While storming the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, Sandlin filmed himself grabbing an officer's helmet, the DOJ said. Footage showed he also yelled at officers and shoved them during the riot.

  • “Get out of the way! Your life is not worth it today,” Sandlin told officers at the Capitol in a video he recorded. “You’re going to die, get out of the way!”
  • He also said in the video footage “we’re not here to spectate anymore,” “the time to talk is over,” and “if you’re not breaching the building, move out of the way.”
  • Sandlin later filmed himself entering the Senate gallery and smoking marijuana in the Capitol rotunda. He also stole a book from a Senate-side office and grabbed an oil painting from the Capitol before rioters took it back, according to the DOJ.
  • Before heading to the Capitol, Sandlin said in a livestream video that “freedom is paid for with blood.”  

The big picture: More than 870 individuals have been arrested in crimes related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, the DOJ said. More than 265 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers.

What's next: Sandlin faces a potential 20-year sentence for conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, according to the DOJ. He also faces up to eight years for the charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers.

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