A Year Later, Baltimore Freddie Gray Rioters Get Serious Prison Time

By Casey Harper

Two men who set ablaze a police car during the Baltimore riots have been handed down prison sentences a year later.

Keith Riggins, 24, and Keon Brown, 23, both received prison time Friday for their role in setting a police car on fire during the April 2015 Baltimore riots, according to the State’s Attorney Office. The riots began after the death of Freddie Gray, which has since become a rallying point for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brown received a sentence of four years in prison after pleading guilty to first degree malicious burning. Riggins received a sentence of two years in prison for conspiracy to commit first degree malicious burning. A surveillance video was key to convicting the two men.

“The officers were attacked by rioters who attempted to turn over and set their vehicles on fire,” The State’s Attorney Office said. “CCTV footage shows Riggins and Brown at the back of one of the vehicles. Riggins admitted to passing lighter fluid and paper to Brown, who then started the fire.”

Authorities estimated the damage at $40,000. The Baltimore Sun reports both men are also required to complete 200 hours of community service. (Related: INSIDE THE RIOTS: Violence, Fire And Robbery As Crooks Attack Reporters)

“It is a person’s civil liberty to protest,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement. “However, we will not tolerate protesters who vandalize and destroy our community and endanger the lives of others.”

The criminal investigation into the riots is far from over. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) offered yet another reward Friday for information on a suspect in an arson committed at a Baltimore Rite-Aid Pharmacy during the riots.

“Over the past 12 months, the ATF, United States Attorney’s Office, Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office have been investigating multiple crimes stemming from the civil unrest in Baltimore on April 27, 2015,” ATF said in a statement. “To date, over $20,000 has been awarded to citizens who have helped catch the perpetrators of several of those crimes.”

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