Jurors reject array of defenses at Capitol riot trials
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN2 hours ago
FILE – This still frame from Metropolitan Police Department body worn camera video shows Thomas Webster, in red jacket, at a barricade line at on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Retired New York City police officer Webster is the next to go on trial, with jury selection scheduled to begin Monday, April 25, 2022. Webster has claimed he was acting in self-defense when he tackled a police officer who was trying to protect the Capitol from a mob on Jan. 6. (Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)
Jurors have heard — and rejected — an array of excuses and arguments from the first rioters to be tried for storming the U.S. Capitol. The next jury to get a Capitol riot case could hear another novel defense this week at the trial of a retired New York City police officer.
Thomas Webster, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD, has claimed he was acting in self-defense when he tackled a police officer who was trying to protect the Capitol from a mob on Jan. 6, 2021. Webster’s lawyer also has argued that he was exercising his First Amendment free speech rights when he shouted profanities at police that day. Jury selection began on Monday and is expected to last most of the day.
Webster, 56, is the fourth Capitol riot defendant to get a jury trial. Each has presented a distinct line of defense.ADVERTISEMENT
An Ohio man who stole a coat rack from a Capitol office testified he was “following presidential orders” from Donald Trump. An off-duty police officer from Virginia claimed he only entered the Capitol to retrieve a fellow officer. A lawyer for a Texas man who confronted Capitol police accused prosecutors of rushing to judgment against somebody prone to exaggerating.CAPITOL SIEGEJurors reject array of defenses at Capitol riot trialsProsecutors seek jail for Virginia brothers in Jan. 6 riotWarren calls McCarthy a ‘liar’ and ‘traitor’ over Jan 6 tapeOfficial: Meadows had been warned of possible 1/6 violence
Those defenses didn’t sway the juries at their respe