Jan. 6 defendant who beat officer with Trump flag sentenced to 46 months in prison


(The Hill) – A man who beat a Washington, D.C., police officer with a Trump flag during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack was sentenced to 46 months in prison on Friday.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Howard Richardson received the sentence after pleading guilty earlier in the year to assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.

Richardson waved his flagpole after entering a restricted area of Capitol grounds, according to the Department of Justice, before later hitting a police officer multiple times with the pole.

“He raised it and forcefully swung it downward to strike an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department who was standing behind a metal barricade,” the DOJ wrote of Richardson and the flagpole.

“Richardson then struck the officer two more times, using enough force to break the flagpole.”

Richardson then pushed a “large metal sign into a line of law enforcement officers” along with other rioters, according to the department.

The Pennsylvania native, 72, was arrested in November 2021 before pleading guilty in April.

Richardson will be subject to three years of supervised release after completing his almost four-year prison sentence, and is required to pay $2,000 in restitution.

More than 860 people have been arrested since Jan. 6 in connection with the attack on the Capitol, according to the DOJ.

More than 260 of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

Richardson’s sentencing follows the DOJ’s announcement earlier Friday that it would seek an over-17-year sentence for an ex-police officer who was found guilty in May of five felonies and a misdemeanor for his participation in the Jan. 6 attack, including assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.

That sentence is by far the longest yet received by a Jan. 6 defendant.

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