Jan. 6 Rioter Says He Wants to Be a Police Officer, Gets ‘Break’

  • A Trump-appointed judge sentenced a Jan. 6 rioter to two years probation and 60 days of house arrest. 
  • Taylor Bensch pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and theft of government property as part of a plea deal.
  • Bensch also claimed he had aspirations to become a police officer.

A federal judge gave a capitol rioter who used bear spray on a crowd member a “break” after his attorneys said he wanted to be a police officer and was too immature to understand his actions on January 6.

US District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced Tyler Bensch to two years of probation and 60 days of house arrest on Friday, a sentence that was much lighter than the government’s request of nine months in federal prison.

Former President Donald Trump appointed McFadden in 2017.

McFadden said in court on Friday that Bensch “participated in a national embarrassment” and came to the capitol “ready for trouble,” according to NBC. Still, McFadden said that Bensch’s involvement in the insurrection was “pretty minor.”

“I am giving you this break because of your age,” the judge said, according to NBC. Bensch was 19 at the time of the riot. “This doesn’t need to define you or your life.”

Bensch pleaded guilty to one count each of disorderly conduct in a restricted building and theft of government property as part of a plea agreement, court records show.

Police arrested Bensch in August 2022 along with four other members of the “B-Squad,” a militia subgroup that follows the “Three Percenters” ideology, according to the Department of Justice.

“Three Percenterism” is a common belief  — long disproven — amongst anti-government militias that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British government, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

According to NBC, Bensch told the FBI that “B-Squad” members trained in hand-to-hand combat and learned to handle firearms.

Bensch went to the Capitol on January 6 with other “B-Squad” members wearing a tactical vest, military-style helmet,  goggles, and a black gas mask, the Justice Department said. He also carried a chemical irritant that was determined to be bear spray, court documents say.

Bensch was tearful in court on Friday and did not speak, deferring to his attorney Peter Cooper, according to NBC. Cooper told the court that Bensch “didn’t have the maturity to understand what he was getting into.”

Bensch’s attorney also told the judge that he wants to pursue a career in law enforcement, NBC reported. He now works for a pool cleaning company. 

“I know what I did was horrendous,” Bensch told investigators, according to court records.

More than one thousand people have been charged in relation to the Capitol insurrection, and at least 476 people so far have pled guilty.

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