San Diego prosecutors filed multiple charges against at least ten Antifa protestors who reportedly attempted disrupting a pro-Trump event with alleged “violent criminal acts.”
According to a news release from District Attorney Summer Stephan, “video evidence analysis shows that overwhelmingly the violence in this incident was perpetrated by the Antifa affiliates.”
All of the defendants have identified themselves as “affiliated with Anti-fascists or Antifa,” all gathered willingly to take “direct action” against attendees of a pro-Trump “Patriot March” event. “Direct action” can allude to various “acts of violence,” including vandalism, assault, and battery.
At least seven of the defendants were arraigned at the start of the week, after targeted raids from the previous week resulted in the suspects’ arrests.
The arraigned individuals face an array of different charges, including illegal use of tear gas and conspiracy to commit a riot. This case is reportedly the first case in which conspiracy charges will be levied against members of Antifa.
A post on Twitter seemed to align with the description of the January 9 attacks, which shows an Antifa protestor attacking a man and his dog with pepper spray. In addition, a Los Angeles-based videographer also reported several altercations involving a wooden folding chair and pepper spray, which matches reports from prosecutors.
Several more altercations between the counter-protestors and others at the Boardwalk.
The counter-protestors shout “Proud Boy Killer,” as several people are chased out of the area. pic.twitter.com/UzczqlREtP
— Sean Carmitchel (@ACatWithNews) January 10, 2021
At the event, pro-Trump protestors held up signs and flags with phrases such as “Trump 2020” and “Stop The Steal.”
Two groups of Antifa protestors are believed to have committed “violent acts” at the event, with one group originating from San Diego and another group originating from Los Angeles. These groups stand accused of promoting a counter-protest, as evidenced by posts circulating across social media platforms on January 2.
These posts reveal the groups “in essence agreeing to take part in the ‘direct action.'”
Consequently, the groups opted to show up on January 9 and partake in the violence.
On Monday, the arraigned individuals include Jeremy Jonathan White, 39; Jesse Merel Cannon, 31; Luis Francisco Mora, 30; Faraz Martin Talab, 27; Brian Lightfoot, 25; Bryan Rivera, 21; and Joseph Austin Gaskins, 21.
In addition, an arrest warrant has been recently issued for Erich Louis Yach, 37, per the San Diego Union-Tribune.