A Washington D.C. man, who attempted to burn down a police precinct in May, was indicted Tuesday (July 7). The incident took place during the nationwide protests triggered by the death of George Floyd.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, the man, identified as 39-year-old Jerritt Jeremy Pace, took to social media on May 29, to announce his intent to burn down a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) station. He also encouraged his followers to do the same.

“That morning, around 6 o’clock, Pace filled a plastic laundry detergent container with gasoline and a wick and ignited it in front of the Fourth District Station. Although the physical building remained unharmed and no one was injured, the container exploded and burned on the sidewalk. Pace was immediately apprehended by an off-duty detective and police officer,” the press release stated.

On June 11, he was charged with “receiving an explosive in interstate commerce, using an instrumentality of interstate commerce to threaten the use of explosives, and attempted arson.” He appeared in court the following day and was held without bond pending trial. On July 7, he was indicted by a federal grand jury. If found guilty, the accused could face up to 10 years in prison for each count.

Speaking about the indictment, ATF Washington Special Agent in Charge Ashan Benedict said, “Today’s indictment is a testament to the dedicated investigative work of the ATF/DC Arson & Explosives Task Force, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department and DC Fire Department. Swift identification of violent offenders is key to stopping criminal acts that can destroy property, harm people, and take lives. ATF will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our communities and the officers who serve them.”

“While the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia acknowledges the First Amendment right of individuals to protest peacefully, conduct that poses a grave risk to law enforcement, peaceful protestors, and community members alike will be prosecuted. The quick investigative efforts of ATF and MPD thwarted a dangerous person’s attempt to use a makeshift gasoline bomb to potentially cause – in addition to property damage – serious bodily harm or death to law enforcement officers and members of our community,” Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said in the press release.

handcuffs-3655288_640 Representational image of a handcuff. Photo: Pixabay