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San Diego DA to aggressively prosecute violent participants at inauguration-related protests

FBI: Armed protests planned in 50 states
Capitol riots
Posted at 4:29 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 20:30:53-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer announced Wednesday that their offices would not tolerate violence during inauguration-related protests.

They said they will aggressively pursue those who break the law in San Diego and Imperial counties. San Diego DA Summer Stephan said what happened on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol was an embarrassment.

"What we saw was a despicable affront to our democracy," Stephan said.

According to FBI intelligence, there are armed protests planned in all 50 states leading up to Inauguration Day. Stephan and Brewer say that kind of behavior, should it happen in San Diego, will be prosecuted to the fullest.

"Violence, looting, assault on other citizens, or police officers, that's just not going to be accepted," Stephan said sternly. "That is not a protest, and you cannot hide behind the first amendment. Not here in San Diego."

Stephan said there is a clear difference between peaceful protest and uncontrollable violence.

Three people were arrested after Saturday's incident in Pacific Beach. In the last year, the DA's office has charged 28 felony cases stemming from violent riots.

"This will not be tolerated," Stephan said.

Stephan suggested protesters ask questions before leaving the house.

"Is the organizer saying disguise your face? Or bring some kind of weapon? A stick? An umbrella?" Stephan said. "We don't want people to get sucked in where they are going to something they think is a peaceful protest that turns into a criminal event."

If you notice that something is not right, report it to authorities.

"We want the public, as uncomfortable as it might feel, to share any information," Stephan pleaded. "Even as to their relatives or their neighbors, that they feel is suspicious or might indicate that violence might be afoot.

Stephan said for imminent threats, call 9-1-1. For other tips, contact the FBI.