(VitalNews.org) – One of the protestors at the January 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol just got a 54-month prison sentence from a federal judge.
Richard “Bigo” Barnett, who was photographed resting his feet on the desk of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could have received up to 20 years in prison. He was convicted in January of eight counts, including obstructing a government proceeding and entering a government building with a weapon.
Barnett’s sentencing hearing on May 23rd heard arguments from prosecutors and Barnett’s defense team. The prosecution requested a sentence of more than seven years, while Barnett’s lawyers asked for less.
Attorneys for Barnett, a former firefighter and bull rider from Arkansas, argued he should be sentenced to only one year. They also wanted the four months Barnett spent in jail to be counted in his sentencing.
The final sentence of 54 months sat between the prosecution’s and the defense’s requests.
Barnett left a profane note on Pelosi’s desk referring to her with a slur. Prosecutors said that on January 6 Barnett told police “We’re at war, pick a side,” and admonished cops not to pick the wrong side or they would get hurt.
A photograph of Barnett sitting at Pelosi’s desk circulated widely, and Barnett sold autographed copies of it. Government lawyers made much out of that, calling it a symbolic image that showed “rioters” had taken over a “hallowed spaces and the political process from the nation’s elected leaders.”
Such talk from government lawyers has been consistent with regard to the incident at the Capitol. They have made much of what they see as the symbolism of the protest, characterizing the imagery as encouraging lawlessness.
In the two years since the Capitol incident, 350 people have been convicted, Bigo Barnett among them. The government also secured a conviction against Jacob Chansley, whom the government and media have labeled “the Q-Anon Shaman”. Chansley memorably wore a horned helmet and red white and blue body paint when he entered the Capitol that day.
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