Many people, perhaps hundreds, or maybe even thousands, took part in the 2015 Baltimore riots following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore Police custody. Now, one of those rioters is facing justice. [Scroll Down For Video]
Many of the rioters committed petty amounts of damage or stole small items. However, a few people did millions of dollars in damage and were responsible for numerous attacks on police and massive amounts of looting.
One of those people, Donta Betts, is accused of several serious crimes during the riots. According to a local CVS report:
Prosecutors say 20-year-old Donta Betts was one of the key players in the Freddie Gray riots, looting, starting fires and even attacking police.
“Donta Betts was a menace to society here in Baltimore. The scope of the criminal activity he was involved in is really breathtaking,” said Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney.
In April of 2015 — just days after the death of Freddie Gray — Baltimore erupted with riots, looting and a clash with officers. Federal prosecutors say surveillance video and pictures captured Betts in the middle of the mayhem.
In one of his more costly crimes, Betts is accused of burning a CVS pharmacy to the ground.
Late last week, Betts, who has already been convicted of several crimes, faced a judge for sentencing. While many people expected Betts to do some prison time, many were afraid it would essentially be a slap on the wrist. However, in a surprise decision, the judge sentenced Betts to 15 years without the possibility of parole.
As reported by CBS, prosecutors pushed for a strong sentence, but it was thought of as a pipe dream:
During Friday’s hearing, prosecutor Matthew Maddox argued that Betts should receive a 16-year sentence, two years longer than guidelines suggest, because Betts “wasn’t an average rioter.”
Maddox described Betts as having “sheer hate and contempt” for police officers, and said he was engaging in the riots for the sake of lawlessness.
h/t IJ Review