NATIONWIDE — Florida stands at the top, with close company, when it comes to arrests in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
What You Need To Know
- Florida has seen at least 43 arrests from the Jan. 6 Capitol breach
- Texas and Pennsylvania each have seen at least 42 arrests
- Data comes from a Spectrum News review of a Justice Department compilation
The Sunshine State has been the location of at least 43 arrests of people later charged in connection to the insurrection by Donald Trump supporters who sought to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election, according to a Spectrum News review of a U.S. Justice Department online compilation of Capitol breach cases. Texas and Pennsylvania each have seen at least 42 arrests.
At least 36 arrests have happened in New York, 23 in Virginia and 22 in Ohio, according to the list. California (17), New Jersey (15), Tennessee (14) and Kentucky (13) complete the top 10. And at least 10 people have been arrested in Washington, D.C., site of the insurrection.
Randall Collins, a professor of sociology emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote to Spectrum News in an email reply that the numbers appear related "to a combination of large population states and easy proximity to Washington D.C. Among the more distant states, California isn’t much of an anomaly because it is so big. Texas and Florida are at the top because they are big and also conservative states."
Collins also noted significant numbers of participants who had experience in law enforcement, fire rescue and the military.
"Their participation is probably related to places where there were big or long-sustained anti-police demonstrations, and/or large upsurges in violent crime during 2020 (Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey)," Collins wrote.
Meanwhile, six states — Mississippi, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming — have seen no arrests, according to the compilation.
Notably, said University of Central Florida sociology professor Jay Corzine, the Justice Department list shows low numbers of arrests in South Carolina (3) and West Virgina (5), both conservative states located relatively close to Washington, D.C. He also pointed out that Maryland, which borders Washington, D.C., has seen only seven arrests.
Corzine said Spectrum News' interactive map on the arrests — see below — might look different if it were based on arrests per million residents or based on participation in the Jan. 6 event rather than arrests from it.
"You’re not going to get a huge number of people out of Washington and Oregon, anyway," Corzine, whose specialties include geographical patterning of crime, told Spectrum News by telephone Thursday, "but you may find that you would have more people out of some of the southern states like Louisiana and Mississippi, Georgia."
The Justice Department’s list as of midday Wednesday included 453 defendants charged in federal court for crimes related to the Jan. 6 siege. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is prosecuting every case, the Justice Department says.
Spectrum News based its state-by-state review on location of arrests, which the Justice Department includes in its compilation.
With an estimated 21.5 million residents, Florida holds 6.5% of the U.S. population. Yet the state claims at least 9.5% of the arrests of people charged in the Jan. 6 breach, according to the list.
The compilation doesn’t include the residence of those charged, and 22 of the 453 entries as of Wednesday didn’t include a location of arrest.
But 40 of the 43 arrested in Florida reside or perhaps previously lived in the state, according to government documents or news reports.
In most cases, said UCF's Corzine, "the locations of the arrests are going to be the person’s home state."
Asked Monday whether the Justice Department considered its compilation updated, spokeswoman Kelsey Pietranton told Spectrum News in an email that the department tries “to keep the page as up-to-date as possible but obviously, this is a large scale investigation.”
Pietranton referred Spectrum News to an information page that touted 465 arrests, which it said “works out to be an average of about three defendants arrested every single day” since the insurrection.
The attack on the Capitol led to five deaths, including one U.S. Capitol police officer, and sparked what reports call one of the largest criminal investigations in U.S. history. The Justice Department cites “approximately 140” assaults on police officers.
Charges include conspiracy; assault, including on a federal officer; civil disorder; violent entry; obstruction of an official proceeding; and entering and remaining in a restricted building.
Authorities have linked dozens of defendants to the far-right Proud Boys or Oath Keepers groups.
Those arrested and charged in Florida include at least four with alleged ties to the Oath Keepers and six with alleged links to the Proud Boys, according to the Justice Department’s online compilation.
Pietranton, the Justice Department spokeswoman, wouldn’t say how many more arrests authorities expected to make. The Justice Department’s information page, last updated on June 4, says “the FBI continues to request the public’s assistance in identifying individuals sought in connection to the January 6th attack.”
Also, the FBI maintains a Most Wanted page, with videos, and says it seeks help "identifying individuals who made unlawful entry into the U.S. Capitol building and committed various other alleged criminal violations ..."