Capitol Riot

FBI arrests ‘dreaded' Jan. 6 defendant they say rammed ‘Trump' sign into police line

William George Knight faces more than a half-dozen charges in connection with the Capitol riot


A Jan. 6 participant whose dreaded blonde locks and face tattoos made him a memorable face in the pro-Trump mob has been arrested in South Dakota, the FBI said according to NBC News, accusing him of shoving an officer during the Capitol melee after "ramming" a giant metal-framed “TRUMP” sign into a line of police officers.

William George Knight faces more than a half-dozen charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, including felony charges of assault on a federal officer and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder.

Footage compiled by "sedition hunters" who have aided the FBI in hundreds of cases against Capitol rioters shows the man identified as Knight was one of the first people to breach the initial barriers at the Capitol and shows him ripping away police barricades as the mob confronted officers. Video shows the same man aggressively confronting law enforcement, at one point rushing towards the police line with an extended flag pole and then smashing it on the concrete in front of officers. That man was initially dubbed "Dreaded Proud Boy" by online sleuths due to his hairstyle and proximity to members of the far-right organization during the initial breach of the Capitol grounds, but federal prosecutors did not present any evidence to connect Knight to the organization.

Footage from before the Capitol attack also shows the man identified as Knight banging on glass near the Washington Monument after officers took another man into custody near the Trump rally on the Ellipse, where the election-denying former president told the mob to "fight like hell" or they wouldn't have a country anymore.

Starting with President Trump’s “Save America Rally” speech, to rioters breaching the U.S. Capitol and ending with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris confirmed as the next President and Vice President of the U.S., here’s a look at what happened at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021.

The FBI affidavit in Knight's Jan. 6 case says he has "several distinctive tattoos, including one under his left eye ... and what appears to be the emblem of the Cadillac car company on his neck."

"We ain't leaving! We ain't going nowhere!" Knight yelled at officers, according to the FBI. "Here are the b----es. Here are the b----es."

Knight also helped use a giant metal-framed "TRUMP" sign as a ram against a line of police officers and then shoved an officer, according to the FBI.

The intent of Jan. 6 participants who touched that sign has been difficult for courts to discern. Some rioters have been convicted in connection with their use of the giant sign, but one rioter was acquitted on a charge connected to their handling of the "TRUMP" sign, with a judge finding the evidence "ambiguous," though the defendant was convicted of assaulting officers at multiple other points during the attack.

Federal prosecutors have charged more than 1,425 rioters and secured more than 1,019 convictions against Jan. 6 defendants in the more than three years since the Capitol attack. More than 540 rioters have been given prison sentences ranging from a few days behind bars to 22 years in federal prison for former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy along with three others in the organization.

On Friday, a Trump-appointed federal judge whose dismissal of obstruction of justice charges against Jan. 6 rioters is pending before the Supreme Court convicted a man known as "Sedition Panda" of all the Capitol attack charges he faced. Later in the day on Friday, former Boston K-9 officer Joseph Fisher — who assaulted a Capitol Police officer with a chair — called his own conduct on Jan. 6 "egregious" before he was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison. Christopher Quaglin, a violent Jan. 6 rioter who was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on Friday, said during his sentencing hearing that Trump would be back in office in eight short months and offered his services to a future Trump administration before insulting the Trump-appointed judge who sentenced him.

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