The former NYPD cop was sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 6 for his role

Thomas Webster, 56, of Goshen, NY, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting an officer during the January 6 riots

Thomas Webster, 56, of Goshen, NY, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting an officer during the January 6 riots

A retired New York City Police Department officer was sentenced Thursday to a record-breaking 10 years in prison for assaulting the US Capitol and attacking one of the police officers with a metal flagpole who was trying to fend off a mob of Donald Trump supporters.

Thomas Webster’s prison sentence is the longest of around 250 people punished for their behavior during the January 6, 2021 riots. The longest so far was shared by two other rioters, who were sentenced separately to seven years and three months in prison.

Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the first Capitol riot defendant to be tried for assault and the first to advance a self-defense argument. A jury rejected Webster’s claim that he defended himself when he assaulted Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his gas mask outside the Capitol on Jan. 6.

US District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced Webster, 56, to 10 years in prison plus three years of supervised release. He allowed Webster to report to prison at a time to be determined, rather than taking him into custody immediately.

This still from the Metropolitan Police Department's body-worn camera video shows Thomas Webster in a red jacket on January 6 at a barricade line on the west front of the US Capitol. Webster, a retired NYPD officer, was seen attacking the US Capitol and used a metal flagpole to attack one of the police officers trying to hold off a mob of Donald Trump supporters

This still from the Metropolitan Police Department’s body-worn camera video shows Thomas Webster in a red jacket on January 6 at a barricade line on the west front of the US Capitol. Webster, a retired NYPD officer, was seen attacking the US Capitol and used a metal flagpole to attack one of the police officers trying to hold off a mob of Donald Trump supporters

‘Mister. Webster, I don’t think you’re a bad person,” the judge said. “I think you were caught in a moment. But as you know, even being involved in a moment has consequences.”

Webster turned to Rathbun, who was in the courtroom but did not address the judge to apologize. Webster said he wished he had never come to Washington DC

“I wish the terrible events of that day had never happened,” he told the judge.

The judge said Rathbun was not Webster’s only January 6 victim.

“The other casualty was democracy, and that’s not to be taken lightly,” Mehta added.

The federal prosecutor had recommended a prison sentence of 17 years and six months. The court’s parole board had recommended a 10-year sentence. Mehta was not bound by the recommendations.

Retired New York City Police Department Officer Thomas Webster exits federal courthouse in Washington on Thursday. Webster was sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting the US Capitol and using a metal flagpole to attack one of the police officers who were trying to fend off a mob of Donald Trump supporters

Retired New York City Police Department officer Thomas Webster exits federal courthouse in Washington on Thursday. Webster was sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting the US Capitol and using a metal flagpole to attack one of the police officers who were trying to fend off a mob of Donald Trump supporters

In a court filing, prosecutors accused Webster of “shaming a democracy that he once honorably fought to protect and serve.” Webster led the charge against police barricades in the Capitol’s Lower West Plaza, prosecutors said. They likened the attack to a medieval battle in which rioters threw makeshift projectiles at officers and engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

‘Nothing can explain or justify Mr. Webster’s anger. Nothing can explain or justify his violence,” Assistant US Attorney Hava Mirell said Thursday.

Defense attorney James Monroe said in a court filing that the mob was “directed by unscrupulous politicians” and others were promoting the lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from the Republican incumbent. He asked why prosecutors argued that Webster didn’t deserve leniency for his 25 years of service to his country and New York City.

“That’s not how we measure justice. This is revenge,” said Monroe.

In May, the jury deliberated less than three hours before convicting Webster on all six counts of his indictment, including assaulting Rathbun with a dangerous weapon, the flagpole.

Also on Thursday, a New Jersey man pleaded guilty to using pepper spray on police officers, including one who later died. Officer Brian Sicknick suffered a stroke the day after the riot and died of natural causes. He and other officials stood guard behind metal bike racks as crowds of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

Julian Khater, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting or obstructing officers with a dangerous weapon. He could face up to 20 years in prison but is likely to face around 6 1/2 to 8 years in prison at a hearing scheduled for December.

The case against Khater and a second man is among the more notable brought forward by the Justice Department. George Pierre Tanios brought the pepper spray in a backpack. Tanios previously pleaded guilty and is also due to be sentenced in December.

Webster testified in court that he was trying to protect himself from a “rogue cop” who slapped him in the face. He also accused Rathbun of instigating the confrontation.

Rathbun testified that he neither hit Webster nor started a fight. Rathbun said he was trying to bring Webster back from a security perimeter that he and other officers were struggling to maintain.

Rathbun’s body camera caught Webster shouting profanity and insults before they made physical contact. The video shows Webster slamming one of the bike racks at Rathbun before the officer reached out with an open left hand and slammed the right side of Webster’s face.

After Rathbun punched him in the face, Webster swung a metal flagpole down in a downward motion, hitting a bike rack. Rathbun grabbed the broken pole from Webster, who lunged at the officer, throwing him to the ground and grabbing his gas mask and choking him by the chin strap.

Webster drove alone from his home near Goshen, New York, to Washington, DC, on the eve of the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally at which Trump addressed thousands of supporters. Webster wore a bulletproof vest and a Marine Corps flag on a metal pole as he joined the mob that stormed the Capitol.

Webster said he went to the Capitol to “ask” lawmakers to “reconsider” the results of the 2020 presidential election. But he testified that he had no intention of disrupting the joint session of Congress to confirm President Joe Biden’s victory.

Webster retired from the NYPD in 2011 after 20 years of service, including a stint in then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s private security detail. He served in the US Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989 before transferring to the NYPD in 1991.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11170963/Former-NYPD-cop-handed-10-year-sentence-role-January-6.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The former NYPD cop was sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 6 for his role

Andrew Kugle

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