Margaret Aislinn Channon, 26, of Tacoma, was caught on video using fire and aerosol cans to set fire to five Seattle Police Department vehicles during a protest May 30 – following the death of George Floyd, according to one press release from Ministry of Justice.
U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said their actions “caused tremendous damage to Black Lives Matter in Seattle.”
“The right to protest, assemble, and speak out about injustice is one of the most precious and important rights we enjoy in the United States,” added US Attorney Nick Brown. “Indeed, our democracy depends on exercising and protecting these rights. But Ms Channon’s behavior was itself an attack on democracy. She used the guise of legitimate protests to carry out dangerous and destructive acts, jeopardize the safety of those around her and undermine the important messages of others.”
In their sentencing note, prosecutors noted that hundreds of people were standing near where the police cars were burned, and some people were “just yards away.”
“All were in danger if one of the vehicles had exploded,” the memo said.
The video also showed Channon entering various stores and stealing clothes, prosecutors said. According to the press release, Channon admitted to breaking the window at the Verizon store and destroying the electronic cash register at a sandwich shop.
Investigators identified Channon based on her clothing, tattoos and information from her social media accounts.
She was arrested on June 11, 2020 following an investigation by the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Seattle Police Department.
“It should be clear that lawful protests do not include violent acts such as window smashing and theft and arson,” said Jonathan T. McPherson, the ATF Seattle Field Division’s Special Representative.
Channon pleaded guilty Arson last September.
In a letter to the court, Channon apologized for her actions Tacoma News Tribune
“Black Lives Matter is a leadership organization that does not condone illegal activity,” Channon wrote. “My apologies to the many workers and activists – who have devoted decades of their lives to building a countermeasure to police violence – who did not want to see a fire in June 2020.”
Channon is responsible for the restitution and will be released under supervision for three years after serving her sentence, the release said.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/04/washington-woman-margaret-channo-sentenced-for-burning-police-cars-at-protest/ Washington Ms Margaret Channo convicted of setting fire to police cars at protest