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“I Believe I Did The Right Thing” North Carolinian Who Struck Officer With A Pole At Capitol Sentenced To Six Years In Prison

Source: The Associated Press

On April 23, 2024 a North Carolina man was sentenced to 6 years of prison for assaulting police officers during the January 6th Capitol riot. On January 6, 2021, thousands of individuals stormed the U.S Capitol building in protest of Joe Biden’s presidential win. The gathering was incited by former President Donald Trump calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol. However, once the crowd arrived it turned from a march to a riot. Some individuals in the mob were sporting MAGA hats or tactical gear, accompanied by a number of weapons from batons to stun guns. This riot was a danger not only to our nation’s Capitol but also to the law enforcement officers who were deployed to control the crowd. The end result was over 100 officers injured, several officers and citizens dead, millions of dollars in damages to the Capitol building, and many, many arrests. 

Although there were rioters arrested the day of, many were prosecuted after the fact. This includes one David Joseph Gietzen, 31, of Sanford, North Carolina who was just sentenced to 6 years in prison for attacking an officer at the Capitol. Gietzen traveled from North Carolina to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally hosted by then-President Donald Trump near the White House on January 6, 2021. He then marched to the Capitol alongside thousands of others and participated in the riot that interrupted the joint congressional session that was certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. During the riot Gietzen shoved an officer, grabbed an officer’s gas mask, and struck an officer with a pole. 

Although Gietzen stated he didn’t intend to hurt anyone that day, he showed little remorse for his actions. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols who was preceding over the case noted Gietzens seemed “unapologetic” about his conduct. Before the trial Gietzen bragged about being in the riots to associates close to him saying he had “never been prouder to be an American”. 

“I have to make it explicitly known that I believe I did the right thing,” Gietzen said before a jury convicted him of eight counts, including assault and civil disorder charges. 

Though the jury convicted him in August of 2023, he failed to report to prison in October of 2023 while he awaited sentencing.  Additionally he missed a number of hearings for his case before being arrested at his mothers home in December. Prosecutors wrote in a court filing that his failure to report to prison, missing hearings for his case, and his conduct on January 6th 2021, all show a pattern of “flouting rules and laws and doing what he wants, regardless of the consequences”. 

Read more at WRAL

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