Inauguration day protestors hit with new felony charges

Protestors arrested during President Trump's inauguration will face additional felony charges for their alleged role in the turbulent demonstrations that ripped through Washington, D.C., in January.

More than 200 people are now accused of inciting or urging to riot, conspiracy to riot, and destruction of property — all felonies — after a grand jury handed down a superseding indictment to prosecutors on Thursday. A majority of the protestors, many of them "Black Bloc" anarchists or anti-fascist activists, had been previously charged with felony rioting in the Inauguration Day melee that left streets in the nation's capital littered with destruction and smoldering debris.

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Inauguration day protests in Washington, DC

A limousine burns after being smashed by anti-Trump protesters on K Street on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. While protests were mostly peaceful, some turned violent. President-elect Donald Trump was sworn-in as the 45th U.S. President today.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Protesters block a street after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters clash with police after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman helps a protester after he was sprayed with pepper spray during protest near the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

Michael Moore speaks to protesters at McPherson Square Park following the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today Trump became the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Protesters clash with police during the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

A man protests the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

A police officer tries to tackle a protester demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

An activist stands amid smoke from a stun grenade while protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, D.C. January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Protesters chain themselves to each other and block an entry point prior at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

Firefighters extinguish a car that was set on fire during protests near the inauguration of President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

Protesters demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump raise their hands as they are surrounded by police on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Protesters chain themselves to an entry point prior at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Protesters clash with police while demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

A protestor dressed as Uncle Sam attends Donald Trump's Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

Police run as they confront protesters during the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters are surrounded by police during a protest near the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

A protester is assisted by police after being injured during protests near the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

Protesters chain themselves to an entry point prior at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

Demonstrators protest following the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today Trump became the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

An anti-Trump protester screams after being hit by a paintball gun fired by Police during clashes in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2107. Masked, black-clad protesters carrying anarchist flags smashed windows and scuffled with riot police Friday in downtown Washington, blocks away from the route of the parade in honor of newly sworn-in President Donald Trump. Washington police arrested more than 90 people over acts of vandalism committed on the fringe of peaceful citywide demonstrations being held against Trump's inauguration.

(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Police stop protesters from passing through following the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today Trump became the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Demonstrators protest following the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today Trump became the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

A man looks through a smashed car window during a protest against the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrators set fires as they confront police in protest against the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters attend Donald Trump's Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

A man holds a sign in front of riot police during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, D.C. January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

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Authorities said the new charges stem from fresh evidence gathered by police and prosecutors. But members of Disrupt J20, a group behind the protests, believe they are meant to pressure activists into taking a plea deal before trial.

"The prosecutor is just using excessive charges in order to scare and coerce us into pleading guilty," Sarah Hailey, one of the defendants, said in a statement Friday.

The intensified push from prosecutors comes as more than 100 of the defendants have agreed to reject any plea deal offer and work collectively to fight all charges, according to J20. Activists have repeatedly cast ongoing efforts by law enforcement to compile additional evidence against them as "desperate" and politically motivated.

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More:D.C. Cops Raid Home Of Inauguration Day Riot 'Conspirator'

Authorities claim that demonstrators caused more than $100,000 in damage as they paraded through the streets of D.C. smashing the windows of businesses and starting fires on January 20. The riot lasted about 40 minutes before police cornered about 250 of the roughly 1,000 activists and began deploying tear gas and firing rubber bullets into the crowd. Police said that six officers were injured during the confrontation and that one was knocked unconscious.

The riot came to an end when several of the activists crashed through a police line after they had been cordoned off by authorities. Those who did not get through the police line, about 230 people, were eventually arrested.

The post Inauguration Day Protestors Hit With New Felony Charges appeared first on Vocativ.

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