US court releases official detained for involvement in Washington riots

The judge said Koya Griffin was not part of the violent invasion of the Capitol or part of the looting mob

A Washington DC district court on Friday ordered the release of Koya Griffin, a New Mexico official detained for his participation in a January 6 riot on Capitol Hill in the US capital. Politico newspaper reported this, citing a ruling by federal judge Beryl Howell.

“Unlike most brazen rioters, he (Griffin – TASS note) was not armed and left the Capitol grounds peacefully. He was not part of the violent invasion of the Capitol or part of the looting mob that roamed the halls [of the building] of the legislative branch on January 6, and the charge he now faces reflects that fact”, –  Howell commented on the decision to release the official from custody.

She added that given the delays in the trial caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Griffin could end up spending more time in custody than the possible sentence he could receive if found guilty. Last week, a Washington magistrate’s court ordered Griffin detained until his hearing was completed, on the grounds that the official would likely have refused to comply with the conditions of release and would not have appeared in court. As Politico notes, Howell’s decision was unexpected, as she had previously challenged several decisions by lower courts to release detainees pending proceedings in the Capitol riot case.

On 17 January, the Associated Press reported that US authorities had detained in Washington, D.C., Otero County, New Mexico, official Coy Griffin, who is also a supporter of Republican 45th President Donald Trump and the founder of the activist group Cowboys for Trump. Griffin, who was seen rioting in Washington on 6 January, was charged with trespassing in the US Congress building…

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