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200+ protesters indicted for rioting on Inauguration Day

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Posted at 12:32 AM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 06:50:00-05
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A total of 214 people have been indicted so far on felony rioting charges in connection with the Inauguration Day protests in downtown Washington.

On the morning of January 20, protests over Donald Trump’s inauguration turned violent when black-clad “anti-fascist” protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police.

Officers responded by launching smoke and flash-bang devices into the street to disperse the crowds. Six police officers were injured and 230 protesters were arrested that day.

On Tuesday, a grand jury in DC charged five individuals. This was in addition to the 209 other defendants who’ve been indicted on rioting charges earlier this month.

Felony rioting carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

The indictment accuses the defendants of using a tactic called “Black Bloc” in which people conceal their identities with dark or black clothing and accessories such as scarves, sunglasses, helmets and masks.

They assaulted a limousine driver, smashed windows of local businesses, destroyed a government vehicle and committed “violent and destructive acts,” according to the indictment.

The DC Police had said that the several hundred demonstrators who actively confronted officers were vastly outnumbered by the thousands of nonviolent protesters who swarmed the nation’s capital for Inauguration Day and the Women’s March, held the day after.