On Feb 13, 2023 violent Antifa member Richard Tyler Hunsinger was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison. The case was one of the most extreme and dangerous that came out out of the 2020 riots. While he pled guilty to throwing firebombs and nail bombs into an occupied federal building, a federal judge did not accept a terrorism enhancement on his sentence.
The charges against Hunsinger came from a July 25th 2020 Antifa riot. There were ongoing riots in Portland Oregon at the time, many of these riots were targeting the ICE facility there. In response Antifa groups in Atlanta put out a direct action call for a "Rally Against Fascism" on the night of July 25th. The planned riot would target a federal building in Atlanta. Hunsinger promoted this direct action call on his account Dickophrenic, under which he used the account title "Millions of dead landlords", a reference to communist killing landlords in China.
At around 11:30 a small number of people in black bloc approached the federal building and smashed out windows using rocks, cinderblocks, and bricks. They then threw modified fireworks, molotov cocktails, and improvised nail bombs into the building. Lasers were used and were pointed into the eyes of a Federal Protective Service Inspector who was in the federal building at the time of the attack. Some video of the attack was shared on social media. Rioters can be heard yelling "burn it down" and shooting fireworks at the building. The attack left the building heavily damaged. Some video and images of the damage were posted on social media and mostly local news outlets.
Unfortunately for Hunsinger, the attack did not go as he would have hoped. Law enforcement immediately noticed a large quantity of blood inside the hallway section of the first floor within the federal building. Federal law enforcement quickly contacted local hospitals looking for someone who went in for an injury that matched, this led to Hunsinger almost immediately being identified as a suspect. Hospital security video also showed Hunsinger wearing the same clothes as was seen by cameras at the federal building.
Despite the injury and large amount of physical DNA evidence left at the scene Hunsinger returned to the scene of the crime the next morning, where his license plate was noted by authorities. Roughly 2 months later police obtained his DNA from a used coffee cup and matched it with the blood from the crime scene. Hunsinger was arrested on November 5th 2020, charged with arson, civil disorder, and destroying federal property then taken to a federal holding facility. The story of his arrest and all the detailed was originally broken by us, local outlets like The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on it days later with headlines like "Justice or bias? Activists decry federal tactics against protesters"
Hunsinger immediately got support from his girlfriend Kathryn Richards who setup a "Free Richard" Twitter page to organize support. Kathryn had accompanied him to the hospital on the night of the attack, and was likely a participant in the demonstration. In addition to that support the Atlanta Solidarity Fund fund stepped in to provide financial support. He was initially denied bond, but roughly a month and a half later, with support from State Senator Vincent Fort and a number of others he was released on a 10k bond and had to return to live in Virginia with his parents.
The case was very slow moving, Hunsinger made a motion to suppress DNA evidence found on his coffee cup and the hospital record, but ultimately took a plea deal in October of 2022 where he pled to civil disorder and property destruction, avoiding the arson charge and its 5 year mandatory minimum.
Hunsinger was set to be sentenced in January of 2023, however that was pushed back to February as the sentencing was contested. Despite a guideline sentence being 21-27 years, federal prosecutors only asked for 7 years. That 7 years was with a terrorism enhancement on the sentence.
Despite the extreme nature of the offense, Obama appointed Judge Amy Totenberg sentenced Hunsinger to just 32 months in federal prison. Left wing violence and terrorism continues in Atlanta today with Stop Cop City, who directly noted lessons to be learned from Hunsinger's case in a post that went up on the website of extremist propaganda outlet "Atlanta Community Press Collective"