Seattle woman gets 5 years for torching police cars during 2020 riot

Her name is Margaret Aislinn Channon and yesterday she was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of five years for arson. Channon burned five police cars during destructive riots in Seattle back on May 30, 2020. She was also seen looting, breaking windows and destroying property.

According to the plea agreement, Channon appears in videos from the protest in downtown Seattle wearing distinctive clothing and showing tattoos on her hands and arms. Channon is captured on video using fire and aerosol cans to light five Seattle Police Department vehicles on fire.  She is also shown entering various stores and removing items of clothing.  She admits smashing the window at the Verizon Store, and entering a sandwich shop and destroying the electronic cash register.  Investigators identified Channon based on her clothing, tattoos, and information from her various social media accounts.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Channon’s Tacoma residence and seized clothing and accessories that appear in some of the videos from the arsons.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Channon is responsible for restitution.  The amount will be determined at sentencing.

After the riot, Channon briefly disappeared but she was arrested less than two weeks later in an FBI raid at a house in Tacoma:

During sentencing, the judge reprimanded Channon for doing harm to Black Lives Matter:

During the sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour told Channon that her conduct had done “tremendous damage to Black Lives Matter in Seattle.”…

“The right to protest, gather, and call out injustices is one of the dearest and most important rights we enjoy in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “Indeed, our democracy depends on both exercising and protecting these rights. But Ms. Channon’s conduct was itself an attack on democracy.”

Brown said Channon “used the cover of lawful protests to carry out dangerous and destructive acts, risking the safety of everyone around her and undermining the important messages voiced by others.”

I’m guessing she won’t actually serve the full five years. Whenever she gets out she’ll have an additional three years of supervised release.

As mentioned above, Channon has apparently agreed to provide restitution for the police cars she damaged. Given that several of those were large SUVs and that the vehicles were totaled by the blaze, I doubt she’s going to be able to pay for any significant portion of that damage. With her records, she’ll be lucky to find a job as a dishwasher. What business owner wants to hire a convicted arsonist and looter? Here’s a 2020 report on the May 30 riot from Seattle’s King 5: