There is a plea for a Black Lives Matter protester, Jeremy Trapp, 24, who last year tried to cut the brake line of a New York police van because he wanted to injure the police. Most interestingly, the vehicle crime was passed in the federal, not the state, system. Additionally, the case may signal a departure from the more stringent charges brought by Trump’s Justice Department in such cases.
According to new sources, Trapp took part in a BLM protest but decided he wanted to harm officers. In his complaint, FBI Special Agent David J. Williams stated that Trapp had reached out to the wrong person on his fatal request. It emerged that the person was a confidential informant and that Trapp told the CI “that the police were racist, that he wanted to harm police officers and their supporters, and that he was previously involved in the destruction of property and the burning of a police car . ” He also reportedly reported threats to attack the Verrazzanno Bridge
Trapp was photographed walking under the van trying to cut the brake pad. Given the deliberate and documented act, Trapp could have been charged with more serious charges, but was allowed to plead guilty of simply damaging a vehicle. He does not appear to have succeeded in completely cutting the brake lining, but this was clearly an attempt to seriously injure or kill NYPD officers.
We previously talked about how prosecutors silently passed protest cases to federal prosecutors. Relocating such cases usually results in lengthy sentences and in some cases isolates local leaders from setbacks in pursuing protesters.
Despite threats to attack bridges and officers, the Biden administration did not pursue charges of attempted murder or terrorism (which were a focus of the Trump administration). For example, the Trump administration accused two women of trying to place “shunts” on railroad tracks for terrorism. Even one case of teenagers who reportedly broke windows was charged with terrorism. In many of these cases, I criticized the use of terrorism charges and the move to treat Antifa as a terrorist organization.
It is not clear which criminal law provision is used as the basis for the plea. One possible regulation is 18 USC 33, but this regulation is normally applied to vehicles used for “commercial purposes”. United States v Lowe, 65 F.3d 1137 (4th Cir. 1995). In addition, the Justice Department recognizes that “the normal penalty for violating Section 33 is a Title 18 fine.” However, the offense allows for a much higher penalty.
Instead, he could be sentenced to an extended prison term for defrauding the government. He advocated a single number of wire frauds related to the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) program. The Justice Department states that Trapp has applied for relief under the CARES Act. He claimed he owned a 10-person car wash and raised $ 150,000 in the twelve months leading up to the pandemic, federal authorities said. Based on this application, the Small Business Administration approved a loan of $ 42,500 and a grant of $ 10,000.
The fraud suit is clearly a basis for federal jurisdiction in this case, even though it has nothing to do with the damage done to the NYPD vehicle.
It turned out that the address of the alleged car wash was his own home.