A participant in the Capitol riot was arrested last year for fatally stabbing a 19-year-old in a Utah park, as laid out in a new report from NBC. The individual in question is John Emanuel Banuelos, who admitted to local authorities back in Utah that a certain individual captured on camera at the Capitol with a gun was him. Banuelos told police that he was “the one in the video with the gun right here,” according to local law enforcement. There doesn’t appear to be any federal criminal case against Banuelos — yet — over his involvement in the violence that rocked D.C., and he’s so far evaded prosecution in the fatal stabbing due to self-defense claims — although that’s not to say that federal prosecutors have necessarily abandoned certain threads that stand poised for follow-up.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Judge rejects Trump attempt to toss conspiracy lawsuits, finds 'plausible' case former president incited Capitol riot.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 18, 2022
Arrests connected to the Capitol riot have continued up to the present, and they’re apparently set to keep unfolding as long as authorities find them to be warranted. Banuelos has been a target of private citizens investigating the identities of individuals with parts in the Capitol violence, and a tip about Banuelos’s identity was apparently sent in to the FBI the month after the riot — months before the stabbing incident. As for that Utah violence, “Before he stabbed [Christopher Thomas] Senn, another person hit Banuelos in the head with a skateboard, Banuelos and other witnesses told police. Banuelos, according to the transcript of his police interview, said someone had accused him of stealing $150, and he told the police he believed he was in a “life or death” fight,” per that NBC report. Banuelos has been arrested at least two additional times since the stabbing, including for assault and interference with an arrest.
Jamie Raskin: “The violence was strategic and political, but it was also sadistic too. Trump had unleashed primitive impulses in this mass demonstration, which became a mob riot.”
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) February 16, 2022
One private investigator who helped work on uncovering Banuelos’s identity told NBC that they “understand [that] the system is overloaded and was never meant to handle this volume of cases and prosecutions, but finding out that he actually killed somebody who was practically a kid, that was definitely a major motivator for making sure that the information was public and people know about him.” Another citizen investigator added that one “of our concerns is that there seems to be a failure to prioritize fast arrests of violent people who assaulted officers or brought guns.” Investigators working along these lines have done substantial work; efforts by private citizens to shine a light on what went on that day have repeatedly been referenced in court proceedings, and NBC notes that certain individuals who’ve been involved in laying out rioters’ identities have since formed working relationships with federal agents working on these matters.
WASHINGTON (AP) — “Judge rejects Trump attempt
to toss conspiracy lawsuits, finds 'plausible' case
former president incited Capitol riot.”
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) February 18, 2022
If it wasn’t obvious enough already, these issues are serious — and the people who incite individuals like Banuelos to action are complicit in these threats. In a live-stream from around the time of the riot, Banuelos ranted that “it’s a war, man… Let’s just do the right thing, let Trump win, we know it’s the facts, we know what’s up.” He also specifically cited right-wing figureheads like Jordan Peterson and Dennis Prager as inspirations — but will these people suddenly launch into some kind of soul-searching exercise? More than likely not.
Trump's actions on the day of the U.S. Capitol riot are not protected as part of his official duties because they focused on his effort to keep power, the judge ruled. https://t.co/Xj2sAFl8mM
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) February 19, 2022