At least 10 Antifa protesters will face charges in San Diego for allegedly participating in “violent criminal acts” against Trump supporters.
District Attorney Summer Stephan’s office said that the video evidence analysis shows violence was perpetrated by the Antifa affiliates and was not a mutual fray with both sides crossing out of lawful First Amendment expression into riot and violence.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the defendants “are self-identified to be affiliated with Anti-fascists or Antifa” and gathered on Jan. 9 in San Diego to take “direct action” against a pro-Trump “Patriot March.” “Direct action” is defined as “acts of violence such as assault, battery, assault with deadly weapons, arson, and vandalism,” according to the DA’s office. Police declared the gathering illegal on the day of the conflict.
At least seven people will face charges such as assault, conspiracy to commit a riot and illegal use of tear gas. They’re accused of using tear gas, sticks, flag poles etc to attack Trump supporters.
This case is allegedly the first in which accusations of conspiracy against suspected members of Antifa are used, the agency reported.
One post on social media shows an alleged antifa protester using pepper spray on a man and his dog. Other videos show fights and more things like pepper spray and a wooden folding chair being used, which corresponds to the attack described by prosecutors.
According to the criminal complaint, one group of the anti-fascists formed in San Diego and another in Los Angeles a week before the pro-Trump rally. Their accusation is for circulating a social media post calling for a counterprotest to the pro-Trump rally, “in essence agreeing to take part in the ‘direct action. Others agreed by showing up in Pacific Beach on January 9th, 2021 and participating in the violence,” prosecutors allege.
The people facing charges for this incident were identified as Luis Francisco Mora, 30; Joseph Austin Gaskins, 21; Faraz Martin Talab, 27; Bryan Rivera, 21; Brian Lightfoot, 25; and Jesse Merel Cannon, 31; Jeremy Jonathan White, 39.
While an arrest warrant was issued also for Erich Louis Yach, 37.