Black man given longest sentence over Capitol riots even though he didn’t go


Troy Smocks was sentenced to 14 months in prison for his involvement posting online threats during the January 6 insurrection (Pictures: Dallas County Sheriff’s Department; Reuters)

A Texas man who urged Capitol rioters to ‘go hunting’ for Democrats, tech executives and others received the harshest punishment yet relating to the January 6 insurrection – despite the fact he did not actually travel there himself.

Troy Smocks, a Black man from Dallas, was sentenced on Thursday to 14 months in prison for posting threatening social media messages during the riots from his Washington DC hotel room.

He pleaded guilty in September to transmitting interstate threats and will get credit for the nine months he spent in jail following his January arrest. His sentence is the longest term to date stemming from the investigation into the riots.

District Judge Tanya Chutkan said: ‘Mr Smocks, from the safety of his hotel room, had the nerve to call people trying to defend the Capitol that day “cowards”. He had the audacity to call the rioters “patriots.”‘

Smocks posted threatening messages onto the social media app Parlor, urging people to take up arms as ‘American Patriots’ (Picture: REUTERS)

Smocks posted on the right-wing social media platform Parlor under the username ‘ColonelTPerez’, urging people to take up arms as ‘American patriots’.

He said by doing so they would be following the advice of former president Donald Trump, his son Eric Trump and Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who all spoke during the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally before the riot.

‘Prepare our weapons, and then go get ’em,’ he allegedly posted on January 7, according to CNN.

‘Lets hunt these cowards down like the Traitors that each of them are. This includes RINOS, 1 Dems, and Tech Execs. We now have the green light. [All] who resist US are enemies of Our Constitution, and must be treated as such,’ Smocks wrote. ‘Today, the cowards ran as We took the Capital. They have it back now, only because We left. It wasn’t the building that We wanted . . . it was them!’

Smocks told people on social media to prepare their weapons the day after the Capitol riot (Picture: REUTERS)

The Texas man has a long criminal history, having posed as a government or military official on numerous occasions, which Judge Chutkan said weighed heavily in her decision.

During his sentencing hearing Smocks said he believed he was being treated harsher than White Capitol riot defendants, and claimed racism was to blame for his sentencing.

‘Your honor, this is racism. This is why there are far more Black and brown men in jail than whites for the same crime,’ he said. ‘I’m no Dr King, not by a long shot, but we do share the same skin color and the same idea of justice.’

During his sentencing Smocks said he felt he was receiving harsher treatment than other Capitol rioters due to his race (Picture: AP)

However Chatkan, who is also Black, forcefully came down on his allegations of racism, saying his comparison to Dr King was ‘offensive’.

She told him: ‘People died fighting for civil rights. People were beaten, they were tortured mentally and physically.

‘For you to hold yourself up as somehow a soldier in that fight is audacious.’

Nineteen Capitol rioters have been sentenced, mostly to federal misdemeanors. Eleven have received jail time.

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