On January 6th, Donald Trump’s more die-hard followers got excited and broke into the Capitol Building, threatening the lives of people in Congress. Five people died. Though the scene was chaotic and violent, a fair number of people were photographed merrily making their way through the building, smiling and waving at cameras as they committed federal crimes.
One of those people was Richard Barnett, who went viral because he was photographed with his feet propped up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk. Barnett has been jailed preceding his court date, and he’s not taking it well.
According to Arkansas Fox News affiliate KNWA, Barnett had a hearing on March 4th, during which he was informed the judge was suggesting a continuance until May 4th. This got him pretty riled up.
“I’ve been here a long time … another month … It’s not fair!” Barnett yelled. “You’re letting everyone else out … I need help.”
According to NBC reporter Scott MacFarlane, the judge called a recess so Barnett’s lawyers could tell him to shut up.
People don’t have a lot of sympathy for Barnett’s plight:
In fairness, leaving someone in jail who isn’t a flight risk or danger to their community is a tactic used by the state to force people to take plea bargains or find some way to pay bail. Since many people can’t afford bail, lots of folks who haven’t been found guilty serve time. Months or even years behind bars with no conviction to their name.
This is an issue that primarily affects poor people and people of color in the United States. Someone like Barnett probably never expected to be faced with the same consequences. Or probably any consequences at all, let’s be honest!
He was charged with disorderly conduct and theft of government property but has pleaded not guilty to all charges. For now.
Barnett did steal an envelope from Pelosi’s desk, though he says he left payment in the form of a quarter.