San Diego — A grand jury in San Diego has indicted 11 alleged members of an anti-fascist group.
The indictment comes after the group was found in connection with violence that occurred at a “Patriot March” at Pacific Beach in January 2021. The members of this group have been found to be supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
In December, the San Diego Superior Court charged the defendants with violence and it seems that the recent indictment does not appear to add on any further charges.
However, the December charges have been dropped as of Tuesday in favor of the indictment. This comes after a grand jury heard 13 days of testimony last month.
The indictment brought on 29 counts, one of which includes conspiracy to commit the crime of riot. Domestic extremism experts believe that this case is the first nationwide case where prosecutors have used a conspiracy charge specifically to prosecute alleged anti-fascist group members.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, ten of the defendants plead not guilty during an arraignment on Tuesday. The eleventh member is expected to be arraigned later this month.
The ten members that plead not guilty on Tuesday are already out of custody on bail, according to a defense attorneys in the case, Kerry Armstrong. According to Armstrong, the judge has released those ten defendants on their own recognizance in the new case.
The indictment is in response to a “Patriot March” that took place on January 9, 2021 in Pacific Beach.
The march was organized by members an anti-fascist group who gathered in support of the former president, Donald Trump, three days after the U.S. Capital was stormed.
Counter protesters clashed with the group on the boardwalk and near Crystal Pier which causes violence to break out throughout the day.
The violence mainly stemmed from counter-protesters and the pro-Trump group. Five members of the pro-Trump group are said to have been at the Capital three days earlier.
Video evidence during the rally showed pro-Trump group members attacking a Pacific Beach local, a Trump supporter attacking counter-protesters by throwing a munition canister, and anti-fascist members attacking innocent bystanders who were out walking their dog.