Ex-NYPD Cop Gets Longest Sentence Yet Over Riot

Thomas Webster sentenced to 10 years; another man who sprayed Brian Sicknick pleads guilty
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2022 4:25 PM CDT
Ex-NYPD Cop Gets Longest Sentence Yet Over Riot
This still frame from a Metropolitan Police Department body-worn camera video shows Thomas Webster, in red jacket, at a barricade line on the west front of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.   (Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

Two notable developments Thursday in the prosecution of Jan. 6 rioters:

  • Longest sentence: A retired New York Police Department officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking the Capitol and using a metal flagpole to assault one of the police officers trying to hold off the mob, per the AP. Thomas Webster's prison sentence is the longest so far among roughly 250 people who have been punished for their conduct on Jan. 6, 2021. Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the first Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault charge and the first to present a self-defense argument. A jury rejected Webster's claim that he was defending himself when he tackled Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his gas mask outside the Capitol on Jan. 6.

  • Officer Sicknick: Also Thursday, a New Jersey man pleaded guilty to using pepper spray on police officers, including one who later died. Officer Brian Sicknick suffered a stroke the day after the riot and died of natural causes. He and other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks as the mob stormed the Capitol. Julian Khater, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. He could face up to 20 years in prison, though he will likely face a sentence ranging from about 6½ to 8 years at a hearing set for December. The case against Khater and a second man have been among the more notable brought by the Justice Department. George Pierre Tanios brought the pepper spray in a backpack. Tanios previously pleaded guilty and is also set to be sentenced in December.
(Read more Brian Sicknick stories.)

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