Douglas Andrews / March 14, 2023

‘Good’ Rioters and ‘Bad’ Ones

The difference in sentencing between Capitol trespassers and anti-Trump rioters and leftist firebombers is glaring.

“I hope they burn everything down,” said Urooj Rahman to Colinford Mattis in a message hours before they took to the streets of Brooklyn to rage on behalf of George Floyd. “Need to burn all the police stations down … probably all the courts too.”

It was strange sentiment for one lawyer to express to another — especially that last part. Some might even call it violent insurrectionist sentiment.

But here they were, these two lawyers — Rahman, then 31, having graduated from Fordham University Law School, and Mattis, then 32, a proud graduate of both Princeton and NYU Law School — talking about burning down the instruments of civilized society that they’d sworn to uphold.

When Rahman joined protesters that night, she wrote to Mattis: “Throwing bottles and tear gas … lit some fires but were put out … fireworks goin and Molotovs rollin.”

The highlight of this night of mayhem was when Rahman stepped out of Mattis’s tan minivan and Rahman hurled one of those Molotov cocktails into an empty NYPD vehicle outside the 88th Precinct station house, torching it.

For this, she was sentenced to 15 months, while Mattis got one year and one day. Nice sentencing if you can get it.

Then there were the hundreds of rioters who burned cars and smashed storefronts in DC in 2017 during President Donald Trump’s inauguration — and had their charges dropped altogether by the Department of Justice. All of them. Think we’re exaggerating? Go ahead, look it up.

And then there’s Navy veteran Jacob Chansley, 33, the guy best known as the fur-bearing, horn-helmeted QAnon Shaman of January 6 infamy. Indeed, his was the very face of that mostly peaceful non-insurrection that took place inside the Capitol — as opposed to the thuggish behavior of those outside the Capitol grounds who climbed walls, broke windows, and skirmished with cops.

“Virtually every moment of his time inside the Capitol was caught on tape,” said Tucker Carlson upon revealing video of that day which, thanks to the rigged January 6 Committee, had never been seen before by the public.

“The tapes show the Capitol Police never stopped Jacob Chansley,” Carlson continued. “They helped him.” Indeed, they walked him past seven other cops milling around outside the Senate chamber, who barely give Chansley a second look. And yet, as Carlson continues, “Jacob Chansley became the face of January 6, a dangerous conspiracy theorist dressed in an outlandish costume who led the violent insurrection to overthrow America’s democracy.”

“The one very serious regret that I have,” said Chansley in a jailhouse interview, “is believing that when we were waved in by police officers, that it was acceptable.”

There are conflicting accounts of Chansley’s activities that day. As the Washington Examiner reports: “The footage, released by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday, does not include most of the evidence that is damaging to Chansley, according to the filing by prosecutors of Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola, who was also sentenced for his involvement in the Capitol riot. Of the footage that Carlson has shown, the 10-page filing read, all of it took place between 2:56 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Jan. 6, even though Chansley had already breached a police line at 2:09 p.m. and then entered the Capitol.”

One thing we’re not hearing from credible sources, though, is that Chansley behaved violently. In fact, he’s on video tape reading then-President Donald Trump’s tweet and telling the crowd: “Everybody go home. We made our points.”

And for that, Jacob Chansley got 41 months in prison. And that was after having done 10 months in solitary confinement.

As free-thinking independent journalist and one-time leftist Glenn Greenwald put it at the time, “Only a sick, punitive society imprisons non-violent protesters for years in harsh conditions — or one that regards particular ideologies as inherently criminal.”

Just think: Chansley would’ve been better off tossing a Molotov cocktail into a cop car.

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