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Friday, July 19, 2024

San Diego DA Touts First Prosecution of Antifa in Country’s History

'The objective of the conspiracy was to incite and participate in a riot...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) President Joe Biden has infamously claimed that Antifa is an ideology rather than an organization, but a San Diego jury apparently disagrees.

Touting it as the first successful prosecution of Antifa in the country’s history, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced Tuesday that eight of its members have been convicted for conspiring to start a riot at a political protest in January 2021. Other Antifa members have been prosecuted for various crimes, but they haven’t been identified as Antifa by the government.

“From the start this prosecution has been about holding individuals accountable for conspiring to bring violence to our community, something we won’t tolerate,” Stephan said in a press release.

According to Stephan, in January 2021 Antifa supporters posted on social media calling for “counterprotesting” in response to a scheduled political demonstration in Pacific Beach.

The defendants and other uncharged co-conspirators then showed up in Pacific Beach dressed in black clothing and armed with weapons and protective gear, Stephan said. The people charged were Alexander Akridgejacobs, 33; Brian Cortez Lightfoot Jr., 27; Christian Martinez, 25; Ruchelle Ogden, 26; Bryan Rivera, 22; Faraz Martin Talab, 29; Joseph Austin Gaskins, 23; and Jeremy White, 41—all receiving sentences ranging from 180 days to two years imprisonment.

The sentencings come after a criminal grand jury returned indictments against 11 individuals charged with crimes, including conspiracy to commit a riot, use of tear gas, assault with a deadly weapon and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, according to Stephan’s press release. A San Diego grand jury heard testimony over 13 days and delivered the unsealed indictment in May of 2022, the press release said. In total, the defendants were indicted on 29 felony counts.

“Ten of the defendants faced conspiracy charges after the indictment and prosecutors told the court that the objective of the conspiracy was to incite and participate in a riot. It’s believed that this is the first criminal case in the nation where crimes committed by members of Antifa were brought to justice and held accountable,” Stephan said.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Makenzie Harvey, William Hopkins, and Evan Andersen with investigative support from District Attorney Investigator Jonah Conley and SDPD Detective Emily Clark.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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