South Dakota man charged in January 6 riots, released to home confinement

When American politics turns ugly

When American politics turns ugly


A South Dakota man pushed a police officer during the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol and was among those who pushed a large metal “Trump” sign into a police line, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

William George Knight, 37, of Rapid City, was arrested by the FBI on May 26. He was charged with two felonies: obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder; and attacking, resisting or hindering certain officials. He was also charged with five misdemeanors. The Justice Department announced the arrest and charges Wednesday.

Knight was released to home detention Wednesday after a brief hearing. Knight’s attorney, federal public defender Jennifer Albertson, declined comment Thursday.

The Justice Department alleges in a court document that Knight was one of the first rioters to enter a restricted area near the Capitol. After police set up a barrier using bicycle racks, Knight grabbed one of the racks and pulled it away so hard that he fell backwards, the Justice Department alleged.

Later, Knight and others pushed a large sign with a metal frame reading “Trump” toward the police line, and Knight pushed a police officer before grabbing one of the protective bike racks away from the police line, the court document said.

Knight and other rioters pushed into the line of officers, causing the line to collapse, the Justice Department said. Knight then went to the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace, where he remained for at least two hours, the agency said.

All told, more than 1,400 people have been charged in connection with the riot, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

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