Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 14, 2024
Alabama Man Convicted for Assaulting Officers During Capitol RiotSource: Unsplash/ Wesley Tingey

An Alabama man has been convicted of assaulting law enforcement and other charges during the January 6 Capitol breach, a saga that unfolded as Congress convened to certify the 2020 presidential election results. On May 10, 2024, Bryan Shawn Smith, 37, from Huntsville, was found guilty on charges including felony civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, according to a Department of Justice statement.

U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss, presiding over the bench trial, also convicted Smith of four misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in the same, engaging in physical violence in those confines, and an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds or buildings. Sentencing for Smith is slated for August 20, 2024.

The trial shone a light on Smith's part in the Capitol siege; footage showed him at the Lower West Terrace around 2:10 p.m. defying police orders and later brandishing a stun gun in the chaotic tunnel area. At about 2:53 p.m., Smith sparked the stun gun and passed it to another rioter, an act captured by Capitol building surveillance. The stun gun traded hands among rioters eventually to Vitali Gossjankowski, who attempted to use it against an officer.

Smith re-entered the Tunnel third time, approximately at 3:16 p.m., pushing to the front lines of the mob facing off against law enforcement. There, he aided in the violent clash against the police blockade. His arrest came on December 4, 2022, by FBI agents in Huntsville, the fruits of an investigation by the FBI’s Birmingham and Washington Field Offices, with assistance from the United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

Over 1,424 people have been charged from states across the nation for their roles in the January 6 riot, reflecting broad federal efforts to bring those involved to justice, as reported by the Department of Justice. More than 500 of those cases involve charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.