The girlfriend of Jonathan Mellis, a man accused of attacking police officers with a stick during the January 6 Capitol riots, spoke at Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally in Washington DC.
Her speech at the event came after the rally’s organizer, former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, said that the event aimed to only provide support for Capitol riot arrestees charged with nonviolent offenses.
The woman, identified only as Mellis’ girlfriend by The Baltimore Sun, reportedly spoke first at the Saturday rally, according to CNN reporter Marshall Cohen. During her speech, she said her boyfriend was being held in solitary confinement “for no reason.”
She also read a letter from the mother of an unnamed alleged insurrectionist who is currently in jail.
“He’s lost his job, lost friends, family and is in the process of losing his home,” Mellis’ girlfriend said, reading the woman’s letter. “He’s denied visits from family. His jailers treat these men like scum. There’s absolutely no presumption of innocence.”
“I just wanted to let your organization know of the terrible conditions these brave men are being subjected to,” Mellis said as she continued reading the letter. “This reminds me of how the Jewish people were treated by the Nazis. I’ve never thought I would like to see such treatment in the United States.”
On January 6, police body cameras captured Mellis, a 34-year-old man, using sticks and other items to assault officers protecting the Capitol from the rioting mob, according to a criminal complaint.
Police body-cam video allegedly showed Mellis “repeatedly striking and making stabbing movements towards the officers with the weapon in his hand.” Mellis attempted “to strike the officers’ necks between their helmets and body-armor where they are not protected,” the complaint continued.
Such attacks can cause serious injury or death, the complaint said.
Legal authorities handed Mellis 10 charges, including five charges of violence with a deadly weapon, according to the Department of Justice. He pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges.
Mellis posted photos of himself at the riots on his Facebook page. In his posts, he angrily pushed back against conservative claims that anti-fascist (Antifa) and Black Lives Matter protesters instigated the Capitol riots. He wrote that both groups were “too p***y” to besiege the Capitol.
“Storming the Castle. The world heard US!!! Finally not ignored,” Mellis wrote on his Facebook post. “Our side is actually fighting for freedom and the constitution…. We storm THE SWAMP for FREEDOM!!! We want a forensic audit of the vote. Simple. We will not surrender.”
Mellis surrendered to federal authorities for arrest in mid-February 2021.
Approximately 400 to 450 protesters attended Saturday’s J6 rally. Cara Castronuova, the rally’s co-host, blamed lawmakers and the media for the low turnout. She said the two groups had scared away possible attendees by emphasizing potential violence at the event, Spectrum News reported.
Over 600 people have been arrested for their alleged participation in the January 6 riots. Only 63 are currently in jail or prison while awaiting trial or sentencing hearings, according to the Associated Press.
Trump supporters invaded the Capitol on January 6 seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Five people died in connection with the insurrection and roughly 140 police officers were injured. The police injuries include a broken spine, a lost eye, lost fingers, brain damage and multiple cases of PTSD. Four Capitol Police officers have died by suicide since the insurrection.
Ransacking the Capitol, the rioters shattered windows while trying to access congressional chambers, smeared feces in the hallway and stole computer equipment, potentially constituting a national security breach.
Newsweek contacted the Department of Justice for comment.