Most of the approximately 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February.
A first group of 10 men appeared in Superior Court just before 3 p.m., and their lawyer entered a not guilty plea on their behalf. A judge released all of them on the condition they not get re-arrested in the District of Columbia.
Interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said Friday that 217 people were being charged with rioting.
The arrests took place in a four-block stretch of downtown Washington around the time of President Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.
The arrests came after some protesters created chaos. Windows of downtown businesses were smashed, and police deployed pepper spray and “sting balls” against the crowd.