WEST PALM BEACH, FL – June 8, 2020 - According to an online news report published on PalmBeachPost.com, a man from Jacksonville, Florida, was arrested and charged with “inciting a riot.” The man is the third person in the past several days to be charged with “inciting a riot,” which is an extremely uncommon charge. Law enforcement alleges the suspect cheered on demonstrators and even challenged the deputy chief to a brawl.
The 51-year-old suspect has been charged with “incitement” which is a felony in the first-degree. If the suspect is found guilty and convicted of the charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison and could receive a fine of up to $10,000. The suspect is also charged with resisting arrest without violence as well as an assault on a law enforcement officer.
Law enforcement officers arrested five individuals Sunday evening, with one of the suspects is a juvenile, on criminal charges ranging from resisting arrest without violence to inciting a riot to aggravated assault. The arrests took place when violent confrontations with law enforcement began in the downtown area of West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach Police stated that some of the demonstrators began throwing projectiles at the police officers.
The suspect remains at the Palm Beach County Jail as of at midday Wednesday, and his bail bond has been set at $151,000. The West Palm Beach police arrest report alleges the suspect rode his bike through the protestors at Quadrille Boulevard and Lakeview Avenue. Then the suspect approached Deputy Police Chief Rick Morris, and the suspect told Deputy Police Chief to remove his uniform and to fight the suspect. The suspect allegedly waved his arms in the air to encourage the crowd to join him while shouting “(F***) the police.” As the police attempted to place the suspect under arrest, many demonstrators attempted to prevent the suspect´s arrest.
West Palm Beach Deputy Police Chief Rick Morris provided a statement to WPTV. He said that a few of the demonstrators “turned around and helped my officers, and you know what that means to me? That means the character here is top-shelf, and, you know what, we’re going to fix this.”
The suspect was sentenced to a year in jail back in 2016 after the suspect plead “best interest” to numerous crimes such as battery, resisting an officer without violence, criminal mischief between $200 and $1,000, and trespassing. The West Palm Beach arrest report did not state whether police knew the reason for the suspect moving to Jacksonville, Florida, after his 2016 prison release.
The suspect´s arrest happens as the nation, and the State of Florida continue to protest the brutal killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer a couple of weeks ago. The West Palm Beach protest had at least 200 people marching in downtown West Palm Beach. The protest was peaceful, and the protectors called out for justice in the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.