A Capitol rioter who also happens to be a former Republican candidate for the New York state legislature — and who received over 16,000 votes when running for the seat in question — has been caught and charged for their involvement in January’s violence. The rioter in question is Gregory Purdy, and besides a slew of misdemeanor offenses, he also faces charges including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers — all of which would appear to be felonies. Purdy has been charged alongside his brother, Matthew Purdy, and a third individual, Robert Turner, who traveled with Gregory at one point.
As summarized by a D.C.-area CBS affiliate, “According to court documents, Purdy and other members of his family, including his brother and father – who has not been charged in the Capitol riot case – traveled to Washington, D.C., on a chartered bus on January 6. Once there, investigators say Purdy helped lead the charge against police attempting to keep rioters from entering the U.S. Capitol Building, where Congress had convened a joint session to certify Electoral College votes.”
Gregory himself posted on social media that he and his “group” had been “key players in conducting peaceful pushes” past police at the Capitol. Purdy added at the time that the “game plan was to talk [to] the officers and tell them to STOP FOLLOWING ORDERS AND UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION… When they didn’t listen we pushed through (without hurting them of course) we did these peaceful pushes all the way into the capital [sic] building.” In no universe is it acceptable under standards of conduct in the United States to simply “push through” groups of police officers who are attempting to keep you from getting to the other side of their lines. It reveals an absolutely staggering level of real-world ignorance on Gregory’s part that he would act as though he could simply get away with engaging in physical struggles with cops at the Capitol amid a storming of the building.
Gregory Purdy has been allowed to be released from custody ahead of further proceedings — for now. He is one of over 210 Capitol riot defendants to have been charged with assaulting law enforcement at the Capitol in some form. Although substantially shorter sentences have been documented in connection to the charge, obstruction of an official proceeding alone comes with a punishment of up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. The shorter sentences in Capitol riot cases involving that charge have been connected to plea deals.