U.S. Department of Justice
Press Release

Wisconsin Man Indicted for Injuring Police Officer During Kenosha Riots

 

By - Jan 27th, 2021 02:20 pm

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A Wisconsin man was indicted Tuesday in federal court for injuring a police officer during the Kenosha riots, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment on Jan. 26, 2021, against Ashton L. Howard, 27, of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Count one stems from the civil disorder that erupted in Kenosha following the Aug. 23, 2020, shooting of Jacob Blake. According to court documents, evidence indicates that on Aug. 23, 2020, a Kenosha Police Department officer was helping to remove a damaged police vehicle when Howard threw a heavy object at the officer’s head, knocking him unconscious.

Count one charges Howard with obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder. A “civil disorder” is defined by law as a “public disturbance involving acts of violence” by a group of three or more people, which “causes an immediate danger” of “damage or injury” to property or persons. If convicted of count one, Howard faces a maximum of five years of imprisonment.

Count two alleges that Howard subsequently possessed ammunition, despite his prior felony conviction. If convicted of count two, Howard faces a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment.

“There must be accountability for anyone who attacks a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger. “I commend the painstaking investigative efforts of the FBI and Kenosha Police Department to bring this case.”

“The FBI will continue to work with our partners to aggressively investigate and hold those responsible who obstruct law enforcement during civil disorder,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes. “We will continue to support our partners with appropriate resources to maintain a safe community.”

“The Kenosha Police Department partnered with the FBI to investigate an incident wherein a Kenosha police officer suffered a serious injury during an illegal civil disorder,” said Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis. “This was not a case of legal protest; instead, it was a felonious assault on a police officer. This type of conduct cannot and will not be accepted.”

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Kenosha Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Proctor.

More about the Kenosha Unrest

Read more about Kenosha Unrest here

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