A Princeton student was charged with assaulting officers during the Jan. 6 riots

A Princeton University student was charged Tuesday with being part of a violent mob that attacked law enforcement officers during a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, federal prosecutors said.

The student, Larry F. Giberson Jr., was among a group of rioters who pressed on a phalanx of officers protecting the Capitol at the entrance to the tunnel, according to an affidavit filed by federal agents. With Giberson at the front of the crowd as the standoff unfolded, one officer was briefly pinned between the rioters and the tunnel door, the affidavit said.

Giberson, 21, waved other rioters into the tunnel and joined in a second round of shoving against the officers, the affidavit said. He also unsuccessfully tried to chant “Get ’em out!” and encouraged others as they used guns and pepper spray to attack police guarding the tunnel, the affidavit said.

Giberson was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with disorderly conduct, a felony, and several misdemeanors, including physical violence in a confined building. He was arrested in Washington and released with conditions after his first appearance before a federal judge.

A Princeton University spokesman confirmed that Giberson, of Monahawkin, N.J., was enrolled as this year’s graduate.

Assault on the US Capitol

Giberson is listed on the university’s website as a James Madison Scholar for the 2022-23 academic year. The program, the website says, gives students a “unique opportunity” to “pursue, outside the classroom, academic interests related to politics, history, law and political thought.” Giberson could not be reached for comment. An attorney representing him did not respond to a request for comment.

Giberson is among about 1,000 people to face charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riots, and one of more than 320 accused of assaulting or obstructing law enforcement officers when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt recognition of President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

Giberson can be seen in public video, wearing a blue “Make America Great Again” cap and a Trump flag around his neck, scrambling to the entrance of the tunnel on the lower west terrace of the Capitol shortly after 3:00 p.m. on the day of the riots. , says the affidavit.

Once inside the tunnel, prosecutors said, Giberson and others tried to force their way inside in a coordinated push that left one officer crushed by the door and a rioter’s shield.

Officers eventually gained temporary control of the tunnel and pushed out the rioters, including Giberson, prosecutors said. As the mob continued its attack, Giberson stood by and watched as one officer was dragged into the crowd, attacked and wounded.

Federal investigators matched a photo of Giberson from the day of the riot with images posted on Princeton’s Instagram and website, as well as photos from his high school, the affidavit said.

He was then interviewed at the Princeton Police Department, where he identified himself as the man seen in video and photos from the scene of the disturbance, the affidavit said.

The Daily Princetonian, the student newspaper, reported Tuesday that Giberson publicly spoke out against the university’s decision in June 2020 to remove President Woodrow Wilson’s name from its school of public policy and one of its residential colleges because of what Princeton leaders called “racist thinking and politicians”.

“If our university can be intimidated by the fleeting impulses of a mob mentality into scorning its own respected standards,” Giberson wrote in an essay in The Princeton Tory, “what assurance is there that the university will stand firm against those who seek to undermine the nation or even humanity itself?”

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