Capitol rioter who threw fire extinguisher at police on Jan. 6 gets longest sentence yet


Robert Palmer, US Capitol Suspect (FBI)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFLA) — Florida resident Robert Palmer was sentenced to 63 months in prison on Friday in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington D.C., where he was seen on video throwing a fire extinguisher and other items at Capitol police officers.

Palmer’s 63-month sentence is the longest sentence any suspects arrested so far have received.

In October, the 54-year-old sobbed before pleading guilty to one charge of assaulting law enforcement with dangerous weapons as part of a plea agreement that included the dismissal of three other counts.

He teared up again Friday afternoon, telling Judge Tanya Chutkan he was “horrified” after seeing a video of himself assaulting Capitol police.

“I’m really, really ashamed of what I did,” Palmer told the court.

According to court documents, the video of the January assault implicated Palmer more than once. At one point, the 54-year-old tells a camera who he is, where he’s from and that he had been there all day.

Robert Palmer, seen here at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, was handed the longest sentence of any Capitol rioter yet. (FBI)

Palmer was also recorded throwing a wooden plank at Capitol police and then spraying a fire extinguisher at officers shortly before throwing it at them. Moments later, surveillance video shows Palmer picking up the same fire extinguisher and throwing it at officers again.

In yet another incident, Palmer was seen throwing a pole “like a spear” at officers shortly before one of them fired a nonlethal projectile at him.

A sentencing document stated Palmer got up after being hit in the stomach and showed off his injury to the crowd, shouting falsely that he had been shot merely for yelling at the police.

According to the George Washington University Program on Extremism, a total of 703 people have been arrested in connection with the siege. Florida leads the nation with 75 arrested.

Palmer is one of 151 from the nation’s total who have pleaded guilty.

Decorated Green Beret Jeremy Brown, featured on a Special Forces poster when he was younger, is the only accused Florida insurrectionist to agree to an interview so far. He spoke exclusively to WFLA from the Pinellas County Jail, asserting he will never plead guilty.

Brown, who said he was providing security for the speakers taking part in the event before the insurrection, claims he had a meeting with the FBI in Tampa on Dec. 9, 2020. The agents asked him to infiltrate the Oath Keepers organization.

“I’m not taking any plea deals,” Brown said. “My purpose is to bring attention to the fact that the FBI tried to infiltrate a law-abiding group of American citizens.”

Federal investigators have blamed five deaths and about 150 injuries on the assault that stalled the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. There have been 700 arrests so far, and an estimated 2,500 people are believed to have taken part in the melee.

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