A Florida woman named Audrey Ann Southard-Rumsey was found guilty at what appears to have been a bench trial last week of seven felony criminal offenses over her participation in the Trump-inspired attack on the Capitol in 2021.
Southard-Rumsey’s personal history includes other participation in protests in her home state. At the Capitol, she repeatedly engaged in physical stand-offs with police, helping force one sergeant with the U.S. Capitol Police through a set of doors leading towards the House chamber, at which point that officer struck his head on the base of a statue. Southard-Rumsey had been pushing a flagpole into the officer’s chest as she and the mob surged forward. Later, Southard-Rumsey participated in what the Justice Department summarized was pushing police down a set of stairs inside the building. Back on the inside of the Rotunda, Southard-Rumsey engaged in yet another altercation with law enforcement, evidently grabbing at some of their equipment. She originally entered the building under 15 minutes after rioters initially breached it.
The charges of which the defendant was found guilty include three counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; three counts of civil disorder; and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. Combined, the maximum sentence on a charge apiece from each of those categories is 33 years, although it’s highly likely she will face a sentence that long. Her sentencing is scheduled for June.
Throughout her participation in the attack, she was looking for Pelosi. “Pelosi, we’re coming for you!” she yelled during the riot. When Trump glibly accepts the violence that took place at the Capitol, this is what he and the Republicans still with him are helping promote: highly personal threats of physical violence against individuals opposing him. Southard-Rumsey’s career includes time as a music teacher. She also once performed at Carnegie Hall, the famed New York venue. As recapped around the time of her arrest by the Tampa Bay Times, Southard-Rumsey was among those who outlined their intentions at the Capitol in highly specific terms, potentially helping with the future criminal cases filed by prosecutors against them. “Standing in front of the Capitol ready to take it,” she evidently stated on Twitter. “As soon as we get enough people up here. To run the Capitol building. It’s going to be fun.”
Investigators who built the case against Southard-Rumsey gathered testimony from the officer she confronted with a flagpole. What did she think was going to happen when joining a mob inside the U.S. Capitol and jabbing a flagpole into an officer’s chest? Although it’s obviously been said following the Capitol violence, what happened to “Back the Blue”?
Image: Tyler Merbler/ Creative Commons