Man sentenced to federal prison for his role in the May 2020 riot in downtown Charleston

Charleston County News

Abraham Jenkins, 26, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his role in a riot that happened May 2020 in downtown Charleston (Booking photo courtesy Charleston County Detention Center)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A man has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in a riot that happened in downtown Charleston in May 2020.

Abraham Jenkins, 26, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to civil disorders related to the violence and destruction in downtown Charleston, according to M. Rhett DeHart, the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

DeHart said Jenkins is the second of six defendants that have been sentenced on federal charges for participation in the riots – including arson, incident riots, and other civil disorder in both Charleston and Columbia.

Evidence that was presented in court showed Jenkins stood on top of a Mount Pleasant Police Department vehicle and damaged it. He also sprayed a fire extinguisher at police officers who were patrolling Charleston on two separate occasions and threw a water bottle at a patrolling officer.

Jenkins also took a burning t-shirt and threw it through a broken back window of a Charleston Police cruiser, causing damage to the cruiser, said DeHart.

Jenkins was initially arrested by the North Charleston Police Department following a protest at City Hall on June 1, 2020. Following his arrest there, it was discovered that Charleston Police were looking for him regarding arson.

Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said he applauds the successful resolution in this case. “While the Charleston Police Department will always support our citizen’s right to peaceful protest, we will never condone violent or destructive acts that endanger our citizens or damage property,” he said.

Chief Reynolds went on to say, “more work remains to be accomplished as we continue investigating and prosecuting those violent offenders responsible for the significant destruction of property, assault on our citizens, and attack on our officers.  We will not rest until justice is accomplished for all impacted by those criminal acts.”

United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel sentenced Jenkins to 18 months in federal prison to be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

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