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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Man Sentenced to More Than a Year in Federal Prison for Inciting Rioting in Downtown Chicago

CHICAGO — A man was sentenced today to more than a year in federal prison for inciting rioting involving multiple incidents of property damage and looting in Chicago in the summer of 2020.

JAMES MASSEY, 23, of Chicago, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal charge of inciting and participating in a riot.  U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly imposed the 15-month prison sentence and ordered Massey to pay $185,148 in restitution.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron R. Bond.

“Anyone involved in destructive behavior in Chicago – such as rioting – should expect to be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “Our office will continue to work with the FBI, CPD, and our other law enforcement partners to prosecute rioters and others engaged in violent crime.”

“Inciting riots and other unlawful activity are both irresponsible and reckless, and the FBI will continue to work tirelessly with police and prosecutorial partners to ensure public safety is not compromised,” said FBI SAC Buie.

Massey admitted in a plea agreement that on Aug. 9, 2020, he posted multiple videos and messages on Facebook calling for people to travel to downtown Chicago to engage in property damage and looting.  In one of the videos, Massey stated, “Y’all ready? I sent everybody the location to link up at bro.  I trying to get something.  I need to hit a couple stores.”  In another video, Massey stated, “Fitting to go [expletive] them up.  I ain’t missing out.  I am ready to steal.”

Massey admitted in the plea agreement that he and at least three other individuals damaged four stores in the downtown and Near North Side areas of Chicago.

Updated May 10, 2022