A man in DC has been charged for allegedly threatening and trying to burn down a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) station during the racial justice protests in May in response to the police killing of an African American man.
Acting US Attorney Michael R. Sherwin announced Tuesday’s indictment in a press release.
The 39-year-old man identified as Jerritt Jeremy Pace is accused of receiving an explosive in interstate commerce, using an instrumentality of interstate commerce to threaten the use of explosives and attempted arson, according to the criminal complaint.
He was arrested on May 29, after he allegedly made social media posts, saying that he wanted to burn down an MPD’s Fourth District Station, located at 6001 Georgia Avenue NW. He also called on his followers to riot against police forces, go to the police station to set fire to it, and “riot with the rest of the nation.”
Pace’s post followed the tragic death of George Floyd who died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and the subsequent protests that broke out around the nation. During the demonstrations, a police station in Minneapolis was set on fire by protesters.
“While the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia acknowledges the First Amendment right of individuals to protest peacefully, conduct that poses a grave risk to law enforcement, peaceful protesters, and community members alike will be prosecuted,” Sherwin said in the statement.
“The quick investigative efforts of ATF and MPD thwarted a dangerous person’s attempt to use a makeshift gasoline bomb to potentially cause — in addition to property damage — serious bodily harm or death to law enforcement officers and members of our community.”
If convicted, Pace faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each count, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release.