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Press Release

Local Man Sentenced for Obstructing Police During May 30, 2020, Pittsburgh Protest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, PA, has been sentenced in federal court to one day in custody of United States Marshal Service, three years of supervised release, and 365 days of home detention on his conviction of Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Joseph Harrison Craft, 29, of Pittsburgh, PA 15201.

According to information presented to the court, Craft interfered with and obstructed the Pittsburgh Police during the course of the civil disorder that occurred in connection with the protests which took place in downtown Pittsburgh on May 30, 2020. At the conclusion of the protest march, Craft was part of a group of protesters who then attempted to prevent the movement of police vehicles attempting to leave the scene. Craft then approached an unoccupied police vehicle and smashed out the window of the vehicle. Shortly after Craft left this area, other members of the crowd set the police vehicle on fire. Craft then went into the downtown area near Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, where he and others moved large decorative planters into the street to block the passage of police vehicles. When the police attempted to disburse the crowd with smoke cannisters, Craft tossed two of those cannisters back in the direction of the officers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun Sweeney prosecuted this case for the government.

United States Attorney Chung commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Craft.

Updated January 13, 2022

Violent Crime