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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Kenosha Man Indicted for Injuring Police Officer During Kenosha Riots

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on January 26, 2021, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Ashton L. Howard (age: 27) of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Count one stems from the civil disorder that erupted in Kenosha following the August 23, 2020 shooting of Jacob Blake. According to court documents, evidence indicates that on August 23, 2020, a Kenosha Police Department officer was helping to remove a damaged police vehicle when Howard threw a heavy object at the officer’s head, knocking him unconscious.

Count one charges Howard with obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 231(a)(3). A “civil disorder” is defined by law as a “public disturbance involving acts of violence” by a group of three or more people, which “causes an immediate danger” of “damage or injury” to property or persons. 18 U.S.C. § 232(1). If convicted of count one, Howard faces a maximum of five years of imprisonment.

Count two alleges that Howard subsequently possessed ammunition, despite his prior felony conviction, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). If convicted of count two, Howard faces a maximum of ten years of imprisonment.

“There must be accountability for anyone who attacks a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder,” said United States Attorney Krueger. “I commend the painstaking investigative efforts of the FBI and Kenosha Police Department to bring this case.”

“The FBI will continue to work with our partners to aggressively investigate and hold those responsible who obstruct law enforcement during civil disorder. We will continue to support our partners with appropriate resources to maintain a safe community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes.

The Kenosha Police Department partnered with the FBI to investigate an incident wherein a Kenosha police officer suffered a serious injury during an illegal civil disorder. This was not a case of legal protest; instead, it was a felonious assault on a police officer. This type of conduct cannot and will not be accepted,” said Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kenosha Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Proctor.

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For further information contact:

Public Information Officer

Kenneth.Gales@usdoj.gov

(414) 297-1700

Updated January 27, 2021