One of the most shocking events in the U.S. last year was the U.S. Capitol riots. On Wednesday 6 January 2021, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building to protest the election results.
During the riots, multiple people were assaulted and injured, many of them being journalists. One of the men who attacked the police and an AP photographer was charged with an assault and has been arrested.
Rodney Milstreed (55) from Maryland was accused of throwing a flagpole and a smoke grenade at police, as well as assaulting an Associated Press photographer John Minchillo during the 6 January riots. According to the court documents, Milstreed was caught on camera along with other rioters. The footage was captured on the police officers’ body cams, surveillance cameras, and phones of the people who were at the scene, and aired in the national news coverage of the riots.
The court documents read that a person who knows Milstreed personally helped to identify him. Milstreed reportedly sent them photos showing him outside of the U.S. Capitol Building on what appears to be the 6 January riots. In the messages he sent to the witness, Milstreed also claimed that he had assaulted a member of the news media, the court papers read.
Furthermore, three days after the riot, Milstreed messaged his associate on Facebook, describing his participation in the riots. The message is pretty hardcore, so I suggest skipping it if you’re faint-hearted:
“Anybody that thinks I went to D.C. and was gonna start (sic) there with a sign is just foolish. I went witha 4 ft club and intended to crack some heads. I’m not even sorry some got hurt. Could have been me. My only intentions were to drag these f***ing criminals onto constitution blvd and pound their head in. Fact. )’m surrounded by a bunch of pantie waste people with mouths and no action. This aint over these f***s will go down. FACT.”
Milstreed then added that he was charged for “punching the camera guy:”
“I make a charge for punching a camera guy but it was worth it. Hit him with everything god give. The crowd cheered.”
From these messages, I can conclude that this man is proud of beating a person up, and I have no words. He was also accused of throwing a flagpole “javelin-like” toward police officers, hitting one of them. Additionally, he also allegedly picked up a smoke grenade and threw it back toward the police.
The court documents note that there were numerous attacks documented on press members who were covering the riots. “These included reports of members of the news media being harassed, threatened, robbed, and assaulted based on their perceived roles as journalists, and equipment belonging to several news organizations was stolen, damaged, and/or destroyed.” I honestly hope that more of them will be identified and arrested.