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January 6 Detainees, Alleging Harsh Treatment, Get Support from Unlikely Source

Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2021
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by AMAC Newsline
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75 Comments
January 6

AMAC Exclusive

Many of the more than 400 people who have been criminally charged following the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 have been denied bail–and now some are alleging psychological abuse and even physical beatings at the hands of prison guards in D.C. jails. As they await trial, they are getting support from unlikely allies–some of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate.

Earlier this month, Ronald Sandlin, who was among the first to enter the Capitol building on January 6, alleged that he and his fellow inmates have been subject to verbal abuse and physical violence at the hands of prison guards. Sandlin has said he spends 23 hours every day in solitary confinement and alleged that prison guards had hurled insults at him, such as “I hate all white people and your honky religion.” During a bail hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, Mr. Sandlin described how another inmate, Ryan Samsel, “was severely beaten by correctional officers, [is now] blind in one eye, has a skull fracture and a detached retina.” He also spoke more generally, saying that “myself and others involved in the January 6 incident are scared for their lives, not from each other but from correctional officers.”

Steven Metcalf, a defense attorney for Mr. Samsel, confirmed Sandlin’s account of Samsel’s treatment in prison, describing how “all the skin is ripped off both [his] wrists, which shows the zip ties and how tight they were… other inmates said his face looked like a tomato that was stomped on.” Metcalf also pointed out that “All of these guys are still [in] pretrial detention; they have not been convicted of any crimes. And this is what they’ve been forced to endure.”

In response to the accusations, the D.C. Department of Corrections issued a statement saying that the jail “takes the safety and well-being of all residents, staff, and contractors extremely seriously.” The FBI, which has taken the lead in many January 6 cases, said through a spokeswoman that the bureau “is aware of the allegations” but “can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.”

While the mainstream media have largely ignored the treatment of January 6 defendants, their cause has won support from an unlikely source – far-left Democrat Senators Elizabeth Warren (M.A.) and Dick Durbin (I.L.). Remarkably, both have publicly objected to the prolonged detention and potential mistreatment of the January 6 defendants. Warren pointed out that “we’re talking about people who haven’t been convicted of anything yet” and expressed concern that some government officials may be trying to “break them so that they will cooperate.” Durbin, meanwhile, said there should be “clear justification” for the type of treatment being described by the detainees,” and that such harsh treatment should only be applied “in very limited circumstances.”

Senators Warren and Durbin undoubtedly have at least some additional agenda in raising the alarm; both have been outspoken advocates for criminal justice reform, including the reduction or outright elimination of solitary confinement and other maximum-security protocols. Nevertheless, the fact that two Democrat lawmakers are the only ones willing to speak out on behalf of incarcerated Trump supporters is an extraordinary example of intellectual honesty and consistency in a capital city bitterly divided in the wake of the events on January 6.

Critics have pointed out that the denial of bail to January 6 defendants contrasts sharply with the dangerous “bail reform” policies recently implemented in many Democrat cities and states across the country, which releases hardened criminals, including potentially violent ones, back onto the streets as they await trial.

Jessica Watkins, an Ohio woman who participated in the January 6th incident but was not charged with assault or having damaged or stolen any property, was denied bail by a federal district court in D.C. to “ensure the safety of the community.” Contrast Watkins’ treatment to the case of 16-year-old Jordon Benjamin, who was charged with felony assault of another man on Christmas Eve this past December in New York City. Benjamin already had a prior charge for manslaughter but was still released without having to post bail. Objectively, it is unclear how Watkins, who violated the law but was not charged with any sort of violent act, poses such a great risk to the community that she was denied bail, but Benjamin can be released almost immediately with impunity.

Some defendants are still seeking home detention until their trial, while others have argued for a transfer to another facility outside of Washington. Jacob Chansley, who gained notoriety as the so-called “QAnon Shaman,” was transferred to a prison in Alexandria, Virginia, after the D.C. jail he was initially held in said it could not supply the organic food required by Chansely’s spiritual beliefs. Other federal district court judges have also become more involved in the January 6 cases, including Judge Emmet Sullivan, the same judge who oversaw the case of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In one instance, following a meeting with the D.C. Department of corrections officials, Sullivan encouraged the attorney of one defendant to seek confinement in Georgia rather than D.C.

The first trial of a January 6 defendant is set to begin on May 10. Hopefully, the government will uphold its Constitutional duty to ensure all defendants are kept safe as they await trial.

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PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

You state “The first trial of a January 6 defendant is set to begin on May 10. Hopefully, the government will uphold its Constitutional duty to ensure all defendants are kept safe as they await trial.” Seriously, if that is the only thing you really see wrong with this whole suspension of due process established under the Constitution, then you desperately need an education on the law. What is going on right now with these defendants is what you would expect to see practiced in either China or Russia, but NOT the United States. If nothing else, it highlights how politicized the so-called justice system has become, when the Democrats feel threatened and want to send a message to the “little folk”. Just a thought.

Dan W.
Dan W.
2 years ago

You say you want a revolution,….?

HA !!

If Washington’s army at Valley Forge had been as spineless as these Antifa thugs, we would still be part of the British empire.

Cindy cunningham
Cindy cunningham
2 years ago

Why is this happening in our country? Nothing is fair about this!

Crystal
Crystal
2 years ago

This is inexcusable!! Thank you for making us aware of this!

Carla
Carla
2 years ago

So it’s ok for BLM and Antifa to burn down buildings, destroy towns and even kill people, and no one is arrested and/or they are let out of prison. Then you have the protestors from Jan 6th, who were not carrying weapons, didn’t harm anyone or burn up the building and they are being detained indefinitely and being severely abused. This is a crock and they are using them as an example to send a message to all conservatives that we will be punished for our actions and thoughts, while real criminals are allowed to walk the streets. This is the “utopia” of the left.

Kate58
Kate58
2 years ago

Be a convicted hardened criminal waiting to stand trial for murder and you post no bail and walk around free while you wait. Participate in the January 6th incident, not charged with assault or having damaged or stolen any property, be denied bail by a federal district court in D.C. to “ensure the safety of the community.”
Speak against government at your own risk.

Charlotte A Mahin
Charlotte A Mahin
2 years ago

Although I knew there were many people still being held in prison who were arrested on 1/6, I did not know they were being abused!! Holding them is bad enough. Why are our GOP represantatives doing nothing?? I am contacting GOP Senators today.

Anne Simonetti
Anne Simonetti
2 years ago

8th amendment to the U.S Constitution states;
“in criminal cases, cruel and unusual punishment shall not be inflicted.”
5th amendment states: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property with out due process of law.”
6th amendment states:” In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.”
These people are America’s first political prisoners losing their right to due process of law.
Are we going to let this happen in this country?

OldConservativeGuy
OldConservativeGuy
2 years ago

Seems like a case of police brutality that could be prosecuted. Enough of the BLM complaints get addressed, why not these!

Felix
Felix
2 years ago

If this report is true, and can be proven, whoever is responsible should be fired and charged with assault and arrested. There should be, and must be an investigation. The double standard displayed is beyond any explanation, and needs to stop. They should all be out on bail, whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”

Iris Abbott
Iris Abbott
2 years ago

Call your DC representatives today! This is tyranny and unacceptable in America! The Senate/ Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121.

Iris Abbott
Iris Abbott
2 years ago

It would help get the word out if this was sharable.

Glee
Glee
2 years ago

After Trump’s inauguration, rioters and anti-Trump demonstrators destroyed buildings, burned cars, and caused all kinds of mayhem. All were released. While there were a few rioters on January 6th, most of the 400 charged simply walked peacefully into a public building with the simple intent of having their voices heard. They broke nothing, hurt no one, took nothing. Yet they are being booked. Something has gone wrong, gone wrong, gone wrong, gone wrong….

William McDaniel
William McDaniel
2 years ago

Contrary to what most Americans believe our Govt is not fair and impartial.

Bill Prater
Bill Prater
2 years ago

Durbin & Warren are defending those incarcerated in D C because the Demon-rat party paid Antifa to be there wearing Trump gear to cause trouble and blame the real Trump supporters. They also notified the DC Police ahead of time, that is why the police lowered the barriers and then opened the doors to let Antifa into the Capitol Building. Our government, including the Justice Department is corrupted to the core, from top to bottom, inside & out. Investigate the Demo-rats & Pelosi, they are toe responsible parties.

Divinasenia
Divinasenia
2 years ago

I attempted to post this article on Facebook and I was blocked. Here is the FB message I got, “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.” I am being restricted for 30 days. What is abusive in the article?

Jodi Hoel
Jodi Hoel
2 years ago

If these defendants were another color, they would be granted the RIGHT to a speedy trial, and in fact, would Never have been held in custody at all. Absolutely racist against an entire race of (Caucasian) people. Disgusting.

JJ Johnson-Smith
JJ Johnson-Smith
2 years ago

This is OUTRAGEOUS! These people should NEVER have been held, and I want to know WHERE the Republican voices are? WHERE is the ANGER, the Equal Justice? There must be an attorney out there that will sue on behalf of these people and defend them in court, or is there no such thing as a Constitutional Attorney anymore?!?!

JohnH
JohnH
2 years ago

The people that attacked the Capitol police must surely know what is right & what is wrong in this country. Why should they expect special treatment such as zero bail. The Jan 6th riot has changed the way our nation capitol is viewed here & throughout the world.

Ron Howard
Ron Howard
2 years ago

The state of America today has recently become not that different from what Nazi Germany was in 1939 and after. The slow militarization of the government, the establishment of good versus bad classes of our society, control of the media, the move against religion and conservatives, the brain washing of our youth in the schools and universities. While this whole plan has been quietly progressing over time it has taken us suddenly by surprise due to our naïve lack of alert awareness, and we have been shocked and stunned into inaction. It seems we are waiting for some miracle to happen, some hero on a white horse to lead us, because we don’t know what to do and have hope that someone or something will suddenly pop up to save the day. I wish that too, but sooner than later common sense logic has to prevail, and we need to realize that it is we, the free, loyal American citizens who are going to have to finally be brave enough to do whatever it takes to reverse this situation. The time is approaching when it will be too late to reverse this Communist takeover of America. The French, among other countries, formed resistance to the Nazi takeover, before the rest of the free world defeated the Nazis. I wonder what can be done, short of another revolution, to save America?

HocasPocas
HocasPocas
2 years ago

Where’s the lawyers for these defendants, or aren’t they entitled to one of them either. Maybe kamala harris should start a go fund me page for their bail like she has for Antifa and BLM

HocasPocas
HocasPocas
2 years ago

We’re going to have to resort to vigilante justice

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Washington DC of America is run by the Democratic Fascists Nazi Socialist Communist Party. Just like 1938 to 1945. How did His Excellency Joey Biden and side kick Kamala Harris get Elected?

Vinny
Vinny
2 years ago

Are we now seeing the storm troopers that pelosi was babbling about???

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