A Pennsylvania man is facing federal charges for allegedly throwing Molotov Cocktails at police officers during a May 30 riot in Eerie, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Tyvarh Nicholson, 29, was indicted on charges of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and possession of an unregistered firearm/destructive device. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both, according to the Justice Department’s statement. (RELATED: 20-Year-Old Accused Of Inciting Riots During Pittsburgh Protests Works At Amazon, Police Reports Say)
Erie man indicted for actions during May 30, 2020 protest. @USAttyBrady: “Throwing Molotov cocktails at Erie police officers is not the protected First Amendment activity of a peaceful protest; it is a criminal act that violates federal law.” https://t.co/nBTcnIr2lp pic.twitter.com/nWVTpN3naf
— WDPAnews (@WDPAnews) September 8, 2020
During the May 30 riot, Nicholson allegedly threw objects and projectiles at police officers, “causing the obstruction of law enforcement officers engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties,” the Justice Department said. The indictment said that Nicholson was found to be in possession of destructive devices that were not registered to him.
United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
“Throwing Molotov cocktails at Erie police officers is not the protected First Amendment activity of a peaceful protest; it is a criminal act that violates federal law,” United States Attorney Scott W. Brady said. “Make no mistake: if you attack police officers or commit violent crime under the guise of a protest, you will be indicted federally.” (RELATED: Sisters Facing Charges After One Allegedly Threw Molotov Cocktail At NYPD Van)
“We will not tolerate these acts in western Pennsylvania,” he added.
The Eerie Police Department worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on the investigation of this case.