A former NYPD officer who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was convicted this Monday of assaulting a D.C. police officer, CNN reports.
Thomas Webster, 56, claimed he was defending himself when he swung a metal flagpole at police and tackled one to the ground and choked him by his chin strap. He was convicted by a jury on all six charges, which included assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer with a dangerous weapon.
Webster assaulted DC officer Noah Rathbun, making him the fourth Capitol rioter to be convicted by a jury and the first to be convicted by a jury in a police assault case in relation to Jan. 6. It was also the first case of a Capitol rioter claiming self-defense.
Prosecutor Brian Kelly said that Webster “wants to blame officer Rathbun,” while it was him who first attacked Rathbun. But according to Webster’s attorney James Monroe, Webster was only acting in self-defense.
– Webster says the officer falls down, and he wants Rathbun to know where his hands are b/c as a cop he knows it's scary when you don't know where people's hands are, so he wants Rathbun to see his hands + let Rathbun know he can't hurt him again pic.twitter.com/gAqwmF9JEz
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) April 28, 2022
“Are we ever going to accept police misconduct? We’re dealing with a bad cop,” Monroe asked the jury, speaking of Rathbun.
Doris Spruell, a juror, told reporters after the verdict that they “looked at all the evidence…and felt that there was no grounds for self-defense. The video, I think, clearly showed that.”
When asked about Webster’s testimony, Spruell said she “did not think it was credible.”
“The case that the government laid out was very comprehensive,” another juror said, adding that he felt “quite comfortable with the verdict” and that the jury didn’t find Webster’s testimony compelling.
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