CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah man charged for alleged involvement in violent U.S. Capitol rally

Jan 15, 2021, 9:59 AM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:22 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake Valley man who participated in a violent rally at the U.S. Capitol is being charged for his alleged involvement. 

Utah man enters Capitol

John Sullivan of Sandy is the founder of Insurgence USA, a social justice group that claims to be anti-fascist and protests police brutality.

According to the charges, he was wearing a ballistic vest and gas mask when he entered the Capitol.

Sullivan was detained by Washington, D.C., police the day after the rally and claimed that he was simply an activist and journalist who filmed protests and riots.

“I was not there for protest,” Sullivan told KSL TV last week. “I was there to just see the situation.”

Sullivan also told police he was only at the rally to document the events, although he later admitted having no press credentials and no ties to any journalistic organization. 

Federal investigators claim that Sullivan could be frequently heard encouraging the crowd inside the Capitol.

“He further stated that he entered the U.S. Capitol with others through a window that had been broken out. Sullivan stated he followed the crowd as the crowd pushed past U.S. Capitol Police and followed the crowd into the U.S. Capitol,” the charges state.

Booked into jail

An arrest warrant was issued for Sullivan. He was later picked up by authorities on Thursday in Tooele County and booked into the Tooele County Jail. 

The specific charges he’s facing for his alleged role include being on restricted property, civil disorder and “violent entry or disorderly conduct,” according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. 

Additionally, Sullivan still faces charges in Utah for organizing a protest in Utah County last summer that resulted in one motorist being shot.

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Utah man charged for alleged involvement in violent U.S. Capitol rally