Judge: No prison time for Black Lives Matter rioter who threw metal fencing at police officers

LONDON, EN – A 20-year-old who admitted to the court that he’d thrown metal barrier fencing at police officers during a BLM protest in London has avoided jail time, instead being afforded a suspended sentence and community service

According to reports, 20-year-old teaching assistant Shayden Spencer was among a group of protesters and rioters on Downing Street on June 3rd, 2020 that had turned their ire toward officers positioned in the area. 

Spencer was reportedly caught on surveillance footage hurling sections of the large, metal barrier fencing at officers – twice – during the outbreak of violence between the crowd and police. 

The footage was played before the Southwark Crown Court, which Spencer was said to have admitted to engaging in violent disorderly conduct. 

Prosecutor Tyrone Silcott addressed the court, saying the following: 

“The defendant is seen clearly to walk towards the waist-height barrier and throw a piece of barrier that had been broken up. He then returns 55 seconds later and does exactly the same thing.”

However, the prosecutor added that Spencer, “expressed his regret what he described as being in the heat of the moment. He said his actions did not ‘reflect the person I am.’”

Prosecutor Silcott carried on a seemingly sympathetic characterization of Spencer, chalking up his violent actions to getting “carried away”:

“He stated he went to the Black Lives Matters protest as part to raise a voice for racial rights in a peaceful manner. He said he never thought the protest would become violent.”

“It was the first protest he had ever attended. He admitted that he got carried away without thinking. He said he could not give a reasonable excuse why he took part in the disorder but expressed serious regrets for his actions.”

Spencer’s defense attorney, Edward McKiernan, added more to the sympathetic narrative regarding his client, saying: 

“He has a degree of empathy. He is the sort of person who could be an asset to the community. It is not a moment of madness, he was stupid with a lot of other stupid people.”

Apparently, the excusive framing provided by both the defense and the prosecution resonated with Judge Gregory Perrins. While the judge spoke ill of Spencer’s actions from June 3rd, he too latched onto the notion that Spencer got “swept away” in the moment: 

“It’s quite clear this was an extremely serious offence of public disorder.”

“Even though it began as a legitimate demonstration it ended up in violence and aggression that you willingly participated in.”

“You became swept away with events as they unfolded. You’ve shown true regret for your actions and taken full responsibility at a very early stage. It’s also been suggested a lack of maturity contributed to your actions.”

Judge Perrins delivered a 8-month suspended sentence, meaning no jail time for Spencer unless he slips up again in the next year. He was also ordered to pay a £300 fine, do 80 hours of community service, and attend a 15-day rehabilitation program.

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Moving back to news stateside, an Indiana-based BLM chapter leader was recently charged with an alleged DUI and resisting police. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SOUTH BEND, IN – The vocal leader of the South Bend Black Lives Matter chapter has been arrested for driving under the influence Sunday morning, according to Goshen police.

Jorden Giger was arraigned in Goshen City Court on misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and resisting law enforcement. Goshen city is about 40 miles from South bend.

According to police, a Goshen officer responded to the 100 block of E. Washington Street in Goshen around 12:30 a.m. Sunday to a report of a man slumped over the wheel of a vehicle.

The male, identified as Giger, allegedly refused to perform a field sobriety test, and police obtained a search warrant for a blood sample.

While at Goshen Hospital to have blood drawn, Giger became uncooperative, and police and hospital security had to hold him down for the blood draw, according to police.

The results of the blood test have not yet been disclosed.

Giger is a founding member and leader of the South Bend chapter of Black Lives Matter and has been active with the group organizing local events.

He helped organize protests in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake and has advocated for a police review committee and other justice reforms in South Bend.

The arrest for DUI was not the first run-in with the law for the 29-year-old activist. In October, Giger was charged with four felony charges related to attempting to disarm a police officer in New Albany, Indiana.

Court records report that police were called to a bar fight between two women. As an officer attempted to place handcuffs on one of the women, Giger allegedly grabbed the officer from behind and pulled him away.

Police reported that after Giger interfered, a large crowd inside the bar began encircling the officers and tried to prevent them from making arrests.

An officer was forced to deploy a taser on Giger during the confrontation, and Giger attempted to grab it from the officer.

The officer re-deployed the taser a second time, and Giger again tried to grab it from his hand.

According to the police report:

“Due to the extreme danger of the large crowd that had gathered and that were surrounding officers, I feared that if Giger were able to disarm me, he would pose an extreme threat to officers and others in the area. I then struck Giger in the face to distract him from trying to disarm me. Giger let go of my taser.”

After being tased a third time, police were able to place Giger into custody. He remained uncooperative during transport to Floyd County Jail. According to the police report:

“He (Giger) continued to yell and refuse orders to sit in the vehicle. Giger had to be forced inside my patrol car.”

In February, Giger opposed Indiana Senate Bill 198, which would increase penalties for protests that cause property damage.

The bill was introduced in response to more than 100 businesses across Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Lafayette that were damaged during Black Lives Matter protests that resulted in clashes with police in May.

Giger claimed that the bill would be used to target Black Lives Matter and other protesters of color:

“And it (the bill) drives home the point that Black life does not matter. That insured property matters more than Black lives.”

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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