Margaret Aislinn Channon, a 26-year-old from Tacoma, was sentenced to five years in prison for burning five police cars during the Seattle BLM riot on May 30, 2020.
KIRO7 reported the investigation was carried out by the FBI, ATF, and the Seattle Police Department. Channon was captured on video burning the cars in downtown Seattle. She was also filmed looting nearby department stores.
Channon used an aerosol can and fire as a blowtorch to carry out her destructive acts. Prosecutors noted "hundreds of people were standing in the vicinity of the police cars that Channon burned, some only a few feet away. All of them were in harm’s way if one of the vehicles had exploded."
U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour told Channon she had done "tremendous damage to Black Lives Matter in Seattle."
DOJ: 25-year-old Tacoma woman arrested this morning on 5 federal counts of arson for allegedly burning five Seattle police vehicles in downtown Seattle on May 30 pic.twitter.com/gdry5DmWcP— Michael Spears (@MikeSpearsJr) June 11, 2020
"The right to protest, gather, and call out injustices is one of the dearest and most important rights we enjoy in the United States," said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. "Indeed, our democracy depends on both exercising and protecting these rights. But Ms. Channon’s conduct was itself an attack on democracy. She used the cover of lawful protests to carry out dangerous and destructive acts, risking the safety of everyone around her and undermining the important messages voiced by others."
Donald Voiret, special agent in charge of the Seattle Field Office, said Channon's sentencing proves it "is an example of the FBI’s commitment to investigating domestic terrorism cases, no matter what their motivations may be."
The Department of Justice stated that under the terms of the plea agreement, Channon is responsible for restitution. Channon will be on three years of supervised release following her prison term.