A federal judge has ordered Shane Jenkins, who is accused of throwing a desk drawer at police at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, to remain in detention, citing him as a risk for future political violence.
US District Court Judge Amit Mehta noted during a hearing on Tuesday that Jenkins traveled to Washington, D.C. with a "sharp-bladed tomahawk," describing a video of the defendant attempting to break out a window at the Capitol building with the weapon.
"When that was unsuccessful, Mr. Jenkins moves to the front of the line, so to speak, engaging with the police officers that have gathered in the tunnel to keep the crowd out," Mehta recounted. "Grabbing a police officer's riot shield, that's one thing he does. He falls back, and reaches into a bag and starts throwing things."
Judge Mehta also said Jenkins threw a flagpole and a desk drawer at the officers. Later, after U.S. Capitol Police flushed rioters out of the Capitol building, the government's affidavit shows through screenshots of police body camera footage that Jenkins confronted law enforcement outside the Embassy Suites Hotel at 9:49 p.m.
Conditions for Jenkins' release that were proposed by his lawyer, Maria Jacob, included staying off social media and not traveling.
"If he's not able to access social media and not able to travel, it will assure the court that he won't talk to the public about what happened, and he will not be able to travel to other protests," she said.
Judge Mehta said his decision to keep Jenkins in detention is based on the risk that he will continue to engage in political violence.
"He continues to present a danger in terms of political violence," Mehta said. "I don't think the conditions that gave rise to Jan. 6 have faded, unfortunately. There are large swaths of the population that believe the election was stolen."
Judge Mehta said he was also concerned that Jenkins' social media posts after Jan. 6 indicate that he hadn't reflected on his actions.
"On Jan. 7, he claims that it was peaceful, and he wanted to be heard," Mehta said. "It clearly wasn't peaceful. I think that's a heightened concern in my mind that Mr. Jenkins is prone to engage in acts of political violence."
Mehta said Jenkins is distinguished from many of the Jan. 6 defendants by the fact that he has a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for terroristic threats, misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest.
"Whatever demons you were dealing with in the past, Mr. Jenkins, they seem to have reared their head on Jan. 6."