State Watch

Chicago man pleads guilty to inciting 2020 rioting with online posts

A Chicago man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to inciting and participating in a riot after he made an online post encouraging crowds to loot downtown businesses in summer 2020. 

Nearly a year after his initial charging in March, 23-year-old James Massey pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to inciting, participating and carrying on a riot, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

He faces up to five years in prison but will likely be given a two-year sentence upon his return to court for his sentencing scheduled for May 10, the Sun-Times added. 

Massey’s arrest followed a series of Facebook posts on Aug. 9, 2020, which included messages and videos encouraging people to participate in the violence that unfolded in Chicago that day and the next. 

During the riots, more than 100 people were arrested. Additionally, two people were shot, 13 police officers were injured and many stores were left damaged and vandalized, The Associated Press reported. 

“Bring YA TOOLS SKI MASKS AND GLOVES,” Massey said in one post, noting that the looting would start at midnight, the AP noted.

“I ain’t missing out. I am ready to steal,” he said in another video.

In their complaint, prosecutors said surveillance footage showed Massey entering a store with a tire iron in his hand. He then took some coats and vandalized a convenience store and a cellphone store, the AP added.

Tags Chicago looting Protests riot

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