- An alleged Capitol rioter who is out on bail does not want to go back to jail, court documents show.
- His attorneys argued that other defendants charged in the Capitol riots have been abused by guards.
- Nordean, a Proud Boys leader, was released from jail in March.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Lawyers for a self-proclaimed “Sergeant of Arms” of the far-right Proud Boys asked a federal judge to keep his client out of jail, in part because other accused Capitol rioters have alleged abuse and mistreatment behind bars.
In a court filing on April 8, which was first reported by Law and Crime, lawyers for 30-year-old Ethan Nordean cited a recent Politico article describing alleged violence other Capitol siege defendants have experienced from guards.
According to the article, one defendant told a judge that another defendant “was severely beaten by correctional officers, [is now] blind in one eye, has a skull fracture and detached retina.” The defendant reportedly added that many other of the accused Capitol rioters have experienced violence, threats, and verbal harassment from the guards — including one episode where a guard said, “I hate all white people and your honky religion.”
A judge released Nordean — who is also known as Rufio Panman — on bail in March, according to court documents. He is charged with a slew of offenses related to the January 6 insurrection, including conspiracy, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, destruction of government property, and disorderly conduct. Nordean has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is awaiting trial.
Nordean’s lawyers also said in the filing that they has personally learned of another Capitol riot defendant who was neglected, humiliated, and threatened by the guards at a DC facility.
According to the documents, the unidentified defendant said guards would flash lights in his eyes at night and prevent him from sleeping, and that he was placed in a cell with a broken toilet and given baby wipes instead of a shower.
“Guards would snap photographs of the defendant with their phones without his consent, which they appeared to be sharing with other parties through their phones,” Nordean’s lawyers wrote.
Prosecutors have sought to put Nordean behind bars, pending his trial, and previously argued that he was a flight risk.
According to court documents, Proud Boys organization members planned for the Capitol breach months in advance. As Insider previously reported, Nordean was the “ultimate leadership of the Proud Boys’ activities on January 6, 2021.”
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