It’s been 30 years since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down so-called “Son of Sam” laws, the state statutes, first adopted in New York, and named after the nickname of serial killer David Berkowitz, that sought to deny criminals from financially profiting off their crimes.
For that reason, a left-wing radical may get to keep the money paid him by our tawdry national media.
Still, it is somewhat gratifying to see federal prosecutors attempt to make the suspect accountable for seeking money from misery.
The story begins on Jan. 6, at the U.S. Capitol riot.
There, Black Lives Matter activist John Earle Sullivan was among the hundreds of pro-Trump protesters who bum-rushed Congress.
Sullivan took video of the incident, claiming to be a “journalist.” He recorded the fatal Capitol Police shooting of Ashli Babbitt, a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
According to federal court records made public last week, Sullivan clearly announced why he went invaded the Capitol.
“There are so many people. Let’s go,” Sullivan was quoted as saying. “This s–t is ours! F—k yeah. … We accomplished this sh-it. We did this together. F—k yeah! We are all a part of this history.” He also said, “Let’s burn this s–t down.”
But, prosecutors noted, Sullivan also said, “I brought my megaphone to instigate s–t. I was like, guys we’re going inside, we’re f—king s–t up…. I’m gonna make these Trump supporters f—all this s–t up.”
In court records, Assistant U.S. Attorney Candice Wong argued, “There is evidence that the defendant came to the U.S. Capitol prepared to both film and instigate mayhem [and] that he exploited his posture of recording to cajole and resist officers inside the Capitol and to make his way to the front lines of confrontation.”
Wong added, “Shortly after leaving, he boasted of his intent to make ‘millions of dollars’ from his footage of the ‘revolution’ he had just witnessed and participated in.”
“There is strong evidence that the defendant was no mere bystander but rather an active participant –– wielding a gimbal and recording device alongside his tactical gear,” Wong maintained.
Sullivan didn’t make “millions.”
But according to The Washington Times, CNN, NBC News, and four additional news agencies combined paid Sullivan almost $91,000.
Prosecutors have seized almost $63,000 of that, the Times noted, on the theory that he was a participant and not an alleged journalist.
Sullivan’s lawyer, whose client has a history of seeing to instigate violence, including last summer a public threat made in Washington about dragging Trump out of the White House, counters that the money is being wrongfully seized because his client has yet to be convicted.
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