BLM Protesters Charged With Harassment and Theft in Viral Encounter at PA Restaurant

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Posted: Sep 16, 2020 3:15 PM
BLM Protesters Charged With Harassment and Theft in Viral Encounter at PA Restaurant

Source: Screenshot via Twitter

Three Black Lives Matter activists have been charged following a tense confrontation at a Pittsburgh, PA restaurant last month. 

A viral video of the incident showed a crowd of protesters in the street chanting against the police and promising to "take it to the streets" with their demands. As the crowd passed a restaurant with patio tables and chairs full of customers, several protesters stopped to harass the people attempting to enjoy their food and drinks. 

The video shows several individuals with megaphones shouting obscenities at the restaurant patrons. Among the charges from protesters, diners were accused of being white supremacists and building up a racist system. There was nothing apparent other than the color of the patrons' skin color that led protesters to target them. 

One agitator, wearing a "Nazi Lives Don't Matter" t-shirt, approached an older couple and picked up a beer from their table, chugging the whole pint in one large gulp. The couple shouted for that individual to leave them alone, to no avail. 

Another person can be seen on video smashing into tables and throwing glasses onto the ground, shattering them. 

(Warning: Graphic Language)

The video, taken on September 5th, quickly made the jump from local to national as the shocking confrontation led to outrage by those who felt the protests across the country were taking things too far. Similar scenes of restaurant harassment have played out in many cities, including Washington, D.C. 

Now, Pittsburgh police have released a slew of charges against three people involved in the incident, including harassment, theft, and disorderly conduct. The people charged are Kenneth McDowell, 33, Monique Craft, 35, and Shawn Green, 24. Arrest warrants were issued for Green and McDowell because, according to the police, their appearance in court is "not guaranteed."

Craft, who identifies as "non-binary" and refers to herself as "Nique," admitted to being the person who approached the older couple and drank their beer. She claimed, however, that she was invited to join the couple for a drink. Video evidence strongly suggests otherwise. 

(Via the Pittsburgh Gazette)

Craft is charged by summons with third-degree misdemeanor theft, third-degree misdemeanor conspiracy and summary simple trespass; Mr. McDowell is charged with first-degree misdemeanor possessing instruments of crime, third-degree misdemeanor conspiracy, summary harassment and two counts of summary disorderly conduct; and Mr. Green faces charges of third-degree misdemeanor conspiracy, summary criminal mischief, summary disorderly conduct and summary simple trespass. 

The maximum sentencing for first-degree misdemeanors, third-degree misdemeanors and summary offenses in Pennsylvania is up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine; one year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine; and 90 days in prison and/or a $300 fine, respectively, according to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing. 

The president slammed the individuals responsible for the raucous confrontation calling them "thugs" and saying their behavior was "disgraceful." 

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Craft is expected to appear in court on November 3rd.