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San Diego Brawl Case To Test Law Enforcement Treatment of Antifa

On Jan. 9, 2021, three days after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a mob of white supremacists, Proud Boys and other supporters of President Trump descended on the San Diego neighborhood of Pacific Beach. Wearing body armor and carrying wooden sticks and flagpoles, the group marched through town holding up Nazi salutes, snarling at locals in bars, and shouting the same chant that had been used on the streets of the capital “F--- Antifa!” Waiting to meet the mob was a horde of black-clad self-proclaimed anti-fascists or Antifa, who had organized to “protect” Pacific Beach. As the two groups clashed, despite the efforts of dozens of police officers, brawls broke out.


Anti-fascists, dressed in black, pepper sprayed Trump supporters in the face, gleefully shouting “Proud Boy killa!” Other counterprotesters confronted and attacked a Trump supporter, who drew a knife on them. In an alleyway, right-wing extremists surrounded a young man in a George Floyd T-shirt, sucker-punching him and smashing his nose. Afterward, video was reviewed, warrants were issued and homes were searched. Almost a year later, a criminal case emerged that stands to have an impact far beyond San Diego. Experts say it could be a landmark prosecution that changes how law enforcement tackles the much-misunderstood movement known as Antifa, reports USA Today. San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced a raft of felony charges for the activities on Jan. 9, after an investigation of “multiple allegations of violent criminal conduct,” “video evidence analysis” and searches and arrests across two counties. Every person charged was from the Antifa side. No Trump supporter had been charged, or even arrested.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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