Jan. 6 rioter who wore ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt to be sentenced

WASHINGTON — A Jan. 6 rioter who wore a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt contained in the U.S. Capitol is ready to be sentenced Thursday, and his sister is urging the court docket to not “decide a e-book by [its] cowl.”

Robert Keith Packer was arrested the week after the assault on the U.S. Capitol, and pleaded responsible a 12 months later, in January, to a misdemeanor cost of illegal picketing and parading. The federal government needs him to serve 75 days of incarceration in addition to three years of probation.

Packer admitted that he traveled from Newport Information, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 “to attend the rally” held by former President Donald Trump and that he then “entered the constructing regardless of seeing damaged home windows and tear gasoline deployed by police.” He admitted he was “in a crowd of individuals within the hallway when rioters took down and broke aside” an indication bearing Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s title that was positioned outdoors her workplace.

Robert Packer.U.S. District Court docket
for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Choose Carl J. Nichols, a Trump nominee confirmed in 2019, will sentence Packer throughout a digital court docket listening to at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Packer’s protection lawyer, Stephen Brennwald, in contrast Packer to Forrest Gump, writing that Packer’s “demeanor and presence… gave the impression to be much like the character performed by Tom Hanks within the film Forrest Gump — a person who went by way of life nearly as if he was outdoors of his physique and thoughts, trying in.” Brennwald wrote that Packer had acquired “fairly vital” harassment from the general public, “largely due to the character of the offensive shirt he was sporting.” Brennwald additionally mentioned that Packer’s personal son will not converse to him due to his views, and requested the court docket to impose a probationary sentence.

Kimberly Rice, Packer’s sister, wrote a letter in assist of her brother, calling him “palms down the BEST BROTHER with a HUGE coronary heart and delicate soul.” She mentioned they grew up in a “blue collar, center class Christian values dwelling,” and that they traveled to D.C. collectively, however wrote that she left early due to the chilly climate. She portrayed her brother as a sufferer of media consideration.

“Over the past 12 months and half the media has portrayed and described an individual who he’s NOT and NEVER has been. His daily dwelling during the last 12 months and half has been so altered and a significant wrestle for him, dwelling in concern due to the information media slandering his title and making him out to be some monster that he completely isn’t, dropping his lengthy tenure job, dying threats to him and and so forth,” she wrote.

“It’s really easy to evaluate a e-book by it’s [sic] cowl, with out realizing the main points of what’s really inside — but it’s also so incorrect. Throughout a sweatshirt — sure a sweatshirt,” she wrote, describing a sweatshirt celebrating the situation of at the very least 1.1 million deaths in the course of the Holocaust. “Sure, it may very well be thought-about in poor style simply as a lot as a lot extra is nowadays, but it surely’s not a criminal offense for freedom of expression.”

The federal government’s sentencing memo notes that his sweatshirt bore the phrase “STAFF” on the again and the phrase “Work Means Freedom” on the entrance, which “recollects the signal over the doorway to the Auschwitz dying camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland throughout World Struggle Two.”

Packer, when requested throughout a FBI interview after his responsible plea why he had worn the “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt, “fatuously replied ‘as a result of I used to be chilly’,” in accordance with federal prosecutors.

The “Camp Auschwitz” shirt wasn’t the one piece of pro-nazi paraphernalia that Packer sported on Jan. 6. Video offered to NBC Information this week exhibits that earlier within the day Packer was sporting a “Schutzstaffel” shirt, referencing Adolph Hitler’s paramilitary unit headed by Heinrich Himmler that’s extra generally known as the “SS.”

Greater than 850 individuals have been arrested in reference to the Jan. 6 assault and greater than 350 have been convicted. Sentences have ranged from quick intervals of probation for misdemeanors to a decade behind bars for a former New York Metropolis police officer who assaulted a D.C. police officer on Jan. 6 after which lied on the stand. The FBI has the names of tons of of further Jan. 6 members who may very well be charged however haven’t but been arrested.

Earlier this week, a Trump-appointed decide convicted three rioters of felony costs in reference to the violence within the tunnel on the west facet of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, however acquitted two of the defendants on an obstruction of an official continuing cost that got here with vital jail publicity.

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