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21-Year-Old Washington State Man Charged with Smashing Delaware Police Car Window During Protest

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May 30 protest in Wilmington Delaware , participants gather around a police car watching one man smash the window of the police vehicle  (image courtesy of 6ABC philadelphia)

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware announced today that a criminal complaint was issued on Saturday, June 6, 2020, charging Adrian Wood, 21, of Washington State, with engaging in a civil disorder that obstructed, impeded, or interfered with a law enforcement officer’s lawful duties.  If convicted, Wood faces a statutory maximum punishment of up to five years in prison.

 

The criminal complaint alleges that, beginning in the afternoon of May 30, 2020, protesters gathered in downtown Wilmington in recognition of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Protest participants marched in and around Wilmington, including onto Interstate Highway I-95 where they blocked traffic moving in both directions.  Later in the evening, a number of persons damaged and looted commercial businesses on Market Street, including restaurants, bars, retail stores, and at least one sporting goods store.  Defendant Wood was observed throwing a brick through the back window of a Wilmington Police Department (WPD) marked police car that was being operated by a WPD officer at the time of the incident.  Woods ultimately surrendered to police.

 

U.S. Attorney Weiss commented on the issuance of the criminal complaint, “In recent days, protestors throughout Delaware have lawfully exercised their First Amendment rights in sympathy with those seeking criminal justice reform.  But peaceful protest does not extend to the lawless destruction of private or public property.  Thankfully, the defendant’s violent actions did not result in physical harm to the WPD officer driving the police car attacked by the defendant.  I commend WPD’s collaboration with the FBI and their efforts to quickly identify and bring the defendant to justice.

“We appreciate the continued partnership and support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Wilmington Police Chief Robert J. Tracy.  “I am glad that none of our officers were injured, and that our collaborative, investigative efforts have been successful in holding this individual responsible for his actions.”

“The cornerstone of America is built on the rights of its citizens to peacefully assemble and have their voices heard,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone.  “But we cannot allow violence committed by those who try to take advantage of peaceful demonstrations to pursue their own agendas to stand.  Together with our partners, we will not let anyone use violence to silence a community and we encourage anyone with information or evidence of violence to submit a tip at fbi.gov/violence.”

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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