Police witnesses expected to continue testifying today in the 2nd Trump inauguration protest mass arrest trial. Our latest report brings you up to date on the trial, which began this week:


#J20 #J20trials
Jurors in the 2nd #J20 trial just finished hearing from Officer Ashley Anderson, who was working in a DC Police “civil disturbance” mountain bike unit during Trump inauguration protests. The defense finished their cross-examination which began yesterday afternoon. #J20Trials
Officer Anderson was asked by defense counsel to clarify what she meant by her testimony that protesters were “throwing explosives”...she admitted this comment referred to fireworks.
Officer Anderson also clarified under cross-examination that while she saw broken glass, she did not personally witness the breaking acts herself or witness the process of alleged criminals being “reabsorbed” into the protest march.
(The concept of people being “reabsorbed” into the larger protest is a key element in police & prosecutors justifying both the mass arrest on #J20 and the dragnet mass felony charges which followed.)
Asked by defense attorneys about the moment when protesters charged the police line, allowing some to escape the impending mass arrest, Anderson claimed that “300” people charged the line. (Other witnesses have estimated a group of closer to 70)
Despite her testimony being used to justify the arrest of everyone present, Anderson admitted under oath that she herself only saw one brick thrown in her direction. She said she couldn’t identify any individuals due to being “just focused on the large group.”
Defense counsel also used their cross-exam of Anderson which showed police repeatedly threw sting ball grenades into the crowd they had surrounded and detained. Video was paused to show two explosions dropping one person, believed to be a current defendant, to the ground, twice
Judge Knowles dismissed Officer Anderson after a brief re-direct by prosecutor Kerkhoff. Currently testifying, and expected to take a while, is the prosecution’s next witness, a store manager of a Starbucks damaged on Inauguration Day.
Just like in the 1st trial, #J20 prosecutors are expected to solicit days of testimony from witnesses describing broken windows & other damage from Trump inauguration protests. None of these business employee witnesses is expected to identify any of the individuals responsible.
Testimony from the Starbucks manager is on pause for a 20 min court recess. So far, Assistant US Attorney Rizwan Qureshi solicited testimony about the sound of the window glass breaking. Manager described protesters “cheering...when they would hear a window break.”
The Starbucks manager was asked about her fear of “the whole mob coming down the street” but clarified that she “didn’t see the individual” who threw the brick that broke the Starbucks window.
Qureshi asked the Starbucks manager to compare #J20 protesters to other protest groups she had seen. She said she thought it looked like “a different form of protesting...a little weird...” at which point the defense objected and Judge Knowles sustained the objection.
Prosecutor Qureshi then rephrased his question to something along the lines of: What worried you about this group? The Starbucks manager answered, “They just seemed different.”
So far the testimony from the Starbucks manager, and the Starbucks surveillance video entered into evidence, is basically exactly the same as in the first trial. Further testimony is expected to pore over details of broken windows and invoices for repairs.
The same cycle of showing broken windows at a business, interviewing an employee, & showing invoices for repairs, is expected to repeat 8-10 times as the prosecution continues to call business witnesses. None of the business employees is expected to identify any #J20 defendants.
Thanks to all our supporters who enable us to send reporters out to do intensive work like our current #J20trials coverage. All Unicorn Riot reporting is always commercial free without paywalls or subscriptions. Want to help us out? You can chip in here: unicornriot.ninja/support-our-wo…
Check out our newest article for a summary on where the #J20 prosecution is currently at.


Today’s testimony hasn’t changed much in the case, all additional information about general events on Inauguration Day, no implication of any current defendant yet
Prosecution questioning of the Starbucks manager led to playing the 911 call she made after windows were broken on #J20. The defense objected, saying use of the call was “misleading and inaccurate” and “it’s only purpose is to inflame the jury’s emotions”
Judge ruled to allow govt to play 911 call but to play it in full, rather than a shorter version they had edited. Starbucks manager in 911 call tells police protesters were “coming in” to store after breaking windows, but later corrected herself, as that didn’t actually happen.
Assistant US Attorney Qureshi played some video of Starbucks being damaged, and briefly focused on a person seen with a motorcycle helmet- the govt is expected to try to prove that this person is a current defendant, although the Starbucks witness did not speak about this person.
After the Starbucks witness was dismissed, Judge Knowles heard some arguments in the absence of the jury. Defense lawyers took issue with prosecutors describing the protest group as a “mob” since the definition of “mob” is very close to the elements of the #J20 rioting charges.
Judge Knowles ruled that the prosecution could say “mob” only when referring to statements using that word made by witnesses and using it otherwise would be “inappropriate.” The defense accused prosecutors of coaching witnesses to say “mob” in leadup to trial. Qureshi denied this
Assistant US Attorney Kerkhoff then tried to get Judge Knowles to forbid the defense from referring to the #J20 march as “protesters,” arguing the word was equally prejudicial. Defense pushed back hard on: “It’s up to the jury to determine if this is a mob, not if it’s a protest”
Judge Knowles declined to grant Kerkhoff’s request to bar the defense from saying the word “protesters” but encouraged both sides to stick to “more generic” words such as “group.” Jury is out of courtroom until about 2:20 PM EST at which point govt will call more witnesses. #J20
Next prosecution witness of the day was Officer Forrester, who was involved in an MPD CDU riot police unit that formed the first line leading to the kettle/mass arrest of #J20 protesters.
Repeating his testimony in the first trial, Officer Forrester described forming the initial line to detain protesters, being overrun when a group charged police lines to escape, and then re-forming the mass arrest permieter. #J20 #J20Trials
Forester claimed he saw protesters “trying to pull officers off their bikes” although none of his body camera footage played in court showed this incident. He described being in contact with “upwards of 30” people who charged the MPD line but said he couldn’t identify any of them
Prosecution played clip of Forrester’s body cam showing the charge of the police line, just like the 1st trial. Defense then played a different clip of the same video, showing cops refusing to let NLG legal observers, who told police they were attorneys, leave the mass arrest pen
Forrester’s testimony went prettt quickly and the government then called their next witness in the #J20 case. Currently testifying as of this writing is the “Director of Facilities & Loss Prevention” for DC’s Hamilton Hotel, whose property was damaged during Trump’s inauguration.
Like most witnesses called by the US Attorney in the #J20 case so far, this man also testified in the first trial. His testimony is expected to be more or less the same, and not expected to identify any defendant as personally involved in alleged crimes.
The witness from Hamilton Hotel just finished testifying in 2nd #J20 trial; Judge called for a recess til 3:45. Hotel manager described seeing a window broken w glass bottle, and Assistant US Attorney Qureshi used his testimony to introduce hotel surveillance videos into evidence
Just like the 1st trial (albeit in a more concise way this time around) #J20 prosecution had hotel manager describe work done to repair damages from the broken windows (around $2,200.) At 1st trial they showed the invoices on court monitors, this time they haven’t done that yet.
The #J20 defense’s cross-examination of the Hamilton Hotel manager was very short. The manager was asked if he saw any actual acts of destruction took place. He clarified that he heard the sound and then turned to look, and saw broken glass.
#J20 defense counsel also asked the hotel manager if it was true that most marchers passing his hotel did not take any action to damage his property. He agreed that this was true.

Witness was dismissed, next govt witness expected in about 10 mins after recess.
Next prosecution witness to testify today was DC police Officer William Chatman, the 1st witness who didn’t also testify in the first trial. On Inauguration Day, Chatman rode a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as part of Civil Disturbance Unit 74 (most police witnesses are from CDU 74)
Chatman gave several answers to prosecutors that seemed intended to cast guilt on the group as a while, referring to “rioters” “issuing commands.” Chatman said he couldn’t identify any individuals that he saw involved in events on #J20
Assistant US Attorney Kerkhoff used Chatman’s testimony to introduce a series of police body camera videos. Some, but not all, of these videos were played in the first trial. Kerkhoff made a big deal about trash cans & newspaper stands pulled into the street
At one point, Kerkhoff asked Chatman why his motorcycle’s very loud siren was on for most of his bodycam footage. He explained the tactic behind its use: “the idea is to disorient the crowd, so they can’t hear each other, can’t concentrate...”
Kerkhoff then played two body camera videos, and solicited testimony from Officer Chatman about an incident where one protester in black threw some lawn furniture at him (none of which appeared to strike him directly.)
Officer Chatman said the person who threw chairs at him was pursued by Officer Grubbs on a bike, who attempted to arrest him, but that a protester on a bike intercepted Grubbs, causing Grubbs to be injured. This claim is contradicted by evidence from the 1st #J20 trial (cont)
In fact, Officer Grubbs testified in the first #J20 trial about this incident. His bodycam video was shown last year, and it shows Grubbs ramming his bike directly into a protester’s body, which led to him crashing, falling, and injuring his wrist.
In testimony under cross exam in #J20 1st trial, Officer Grubbs admitted he decided, on his own w/o orders, to attempt an arrest by crashing his bike into someone, causing his injury. The other biker Ofcr. Chatman claimed intercepted Grubbs was not mentioned in Grubb’s testimony
Some footage introduced by the prosecution using Chatman’s testimony showed a person in black, with a helmet, being grabbed by police after a charge was made attempting to break the police lines as the mass arrest began. Prosecutors claim to be able to prove this is a defendant
After Officer Chatman’s direct examination by the prosecution finished Judge Knowles dismissed jurors for the week. They are due back Mon at 10:30 AM when defense will begin their cross-examination of Officer Chatman. It’s possible he will be asked about alleged police misconduct
Will be back in court on Monday to continue to cover the #J20 case as it progresses. This coverage is only possible thanks to our donors and supporters who enable us to keep doing non-commercial reporting despite the expenses involved unicornriot.ninja/support-our-wo…
Detective Pemberton, the right-wing police union official who is also the central detective in the #J20 prosecution, was seen lingering just outside the courtroom (Defense counsel had previously complained about him sitting in on hearings for trials he is a witness in)
Detective Pemberton, as well as Detective Ranck who testified yesterday, were both seen leaving court w Asst. US Attorneys Kerkhoff & Qureshi. DC police & US Attorney DC office work closely together on the case; testimony by cop witnesses closely tracks the prosecution’s rhetoric

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with UNICORN RIOT 🦄 mastodon.social/@UnicornRiot 👈

UNICORN RIOT 🦄 mastodon.social/@UnicornRiot 👈 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @UR_Ninja

Jul 6, 2018
#BREAKING: Federal prosecutors just filed notice that they are dismissing charges against 38 Trump inauguration protest defendants who had been facing decades in prison after being mass-arrested at #J20 protests. Report coming soon.
Our new report breaks down today's #J20 legal news, which likely represents a decisive end to the troubled case in which federal prosecutors had been fighting tooth & nail to convict anti-Trump protesters based on a wide-reaching conspiracy theory unicornriot.ninja/2018/us-attorn…
We've been doing our best to cover the #J20 case since the events of January 20, when hundreds of people took to the streets of DC for a militant street march demanding "No Peaceful Transition" for the new Trump administration: unicornriot.ninja/2017/no-peacef…
Read 25 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
#BREAKING: We've obtained & published a month of Facebook Messenger chat logs from a private group created by Jason Kessler to plan 'Unite The Right 2' in #Charlottesville & DC unicornriot.ninja/2018/leaked-vi…
To view the "#UniteTheRight 2" planning chat on Facebook, look at the bottom of our new article for the embed. Leaked Messenger logs show chats between May 13 and June 14 of this year unicornriot.ninja/2018/leaked-vi…
The leaked Facebook chats show Jason Kessler and his co-organizers reaching out to violent far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, American Guard, & 'Patriot Prayer' to work security at the second #UniteTheRight unicornriot.ninja/2018/leaked-vi…
Read 17 tweets
Jun 22, 2018
The ICE manual for undercover agents describes how agents & informants are allowed to break the law & can use "proceeds" from illegal businesses to fund their own operations in the field. Profits can also be paid to other agencies and foreign governments unicornriot.ninja/2018/icebreake…
ICE can also use profits from illegal business activity by undercover agents and/or informants to buy evidence, to pay themselves overtime, and pay for travel expenses unicornriot.ninja/2018/icebreake…
ICE provides cover to undercover agents and informants, as well as fake businesses for use during infiltration, using a variety of methods. One passage reveals how they are provided with fake social security numbers by the Social Security Administration unicornriot.ninja/2018/icebreake…
Read 26 tweets
May 31, 2018
DC Superior Court is resuming session for the day shortly. On the 3rd floor around 9:30 AM, Chief Judge Robert Morin will be ruling on pre-trial matters for two upcoming Trump inauguration protest trial groups.

#J20 #J20trials
Last week, Chief Judge Morin ruled that prosecutors @USAO_DC violated the ‘Brady Rule’ by withholding evidence helpful to the defense. Today he will decide how to ‘sanction’ the prosecution. unicornriot.ninja/2018/prosecuto… #J20 #J20trials
Judge Morin has suggested he may forbid the govt from continuing to use an undercover Project Veritas video of a protest planning meeting. New filings from the defense last night claim dozens of more Project Veritas videos were hidden from defense by US Attorneys
#J20 #J20trials
Read 67 tweets
May 30, 2018
Court has resumed in the second #J20 Trump inauguration protest trial being overseen by Judge Kimberley Knowles. So far, jurors haven’t come into the courtroom yet, as Knowles has heard arguments over defense requests for a mistrial and motions for judgement of acquittal
The defense early this morning renewed their request for a mistrial. Counsel stated they had received partial information in response to their subpoena to ‘Matt’ from Project Veritas but they don’t have time to properly research this information to inform their arguments at trial
Yesterday, attorneys for each defendant had argued to Judge Knowles as to why all charges should be dismissed. Today, under her obligation to view evidence “in the light most favorable to the govt,” Judge Knowles allowed all but a few of the charges to remain.
#J20 #J20trial
Read 29 tweets
May 22, 2018
The second trial stemming from the mass-arrest during protests against Trump’s inauguration is continuing this week in DC Superior Court. So far today, two prosecution witnesses have testified.

The first witness to testify today was Laurel Hassberger, a forensic technician who recovered several objects from the scene of the mass arrest at 12th & L on #J20. Assistant US Attorney Qureshi did a “show and tell” type presentation of several recovered objects to the jury.
This portion of testimony was basically identical to Hassberger’s appearance in the first trial. The prosecution dramatically presented several objects such as hammers, goggles, & crowbars. When cross examined, Hassberger admitted she pulled no fingerprints or DNA from the items
Read 28 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!