19 indicted for attack on protesters outside Turkish embassy

19 indicted for attack on protesters outside Turkish embassy
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A grand jury has indicted 19 defendants, including 15 Turkish security officials, over charges stemming from a violent attack on protesters outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., in May.

The indictments before the Superior Court for the District of Columbia were made public on Tuesday by the Justice Department.

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The defendants, 16 of whom were charged in June on criminal complaints, were indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence. Many of the 19 were also indicted on additional charges including assault with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault. 

The charges stem from Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s visit to Washington in May to meet President Trump. Guards for Erdogan attacked protesters near the embassy in a brawl that was caught on video.

The Turkish Embassy defended the guards at the time, saying they were acting in self-defense and claiming the protesters were aligned with a terrorist group from Turkey.

But Washington’s police chief said the attack was unprovoked.

Nine people were taken to the hospital after the violent skirmish, but none were seriously injured. 

Two of the defendants were arrested in June following the incident, but the rest of the defendants are currently at large.