Group of inauguration protesters face felony rioting charges; possibility of 10 years in prison

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WASHINGTON  — Lawyers say some innocent observers, including two journalists, were improperly swept up in a group of 230 people arrested after self-described anti-capitalists began breaking windows in Washington on Inauguration Day.

The group was charged Saturday, January 21st with felony rioting, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Court documents say protesters were arrested after smashing the windows of businesses and setting fire to a limousine, doing over $100,000 in damage.

But on Sunday, Mark Goldstone, a lawyer who is representing about 50 of those arrested, said police “basically identified a location that had problems and arrested everyone in that location.” He said there were not 230 people engaged in conduct that merited a felony riot charge and called the charges an overreach.

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