By Missy Schrott | [email protected]
Cassidy Ketchem, Alexandria resident and legislative aide to Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, was arrested in Washington D.C. and charged with assaulting a police officer on Aug. 14.
Ketchem, 25, was among 41 people arrested in the Adams Morgan neighborhood during a protest. Ketchem and three others were charged with assault on a police officer, while the rest were charged for felony rioting, according to arrest records.
It appears that prosecutors have declined to bring changes against all cases except for Ketchem’s, according to a WTOP article.
Ketchem’s charge is classified as a misdemeanor, according to D.C. Superior Court records. If convicted, Ketchem faces up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Assaulting a police officer is considered a felony if the defendant causes significant bodily injury to the officer, according to D.C. code.
The evening of the incident, Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to “rioting behaviors” in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, according to a news release. Allegedly, the protesters set intentional fires and destroyed property, according to an MPD tweet.
Ketchem was arrested around 2 a.m. on Aug. 14, according to court records. Her attorney, Greg Lipper, told WTOP that Ketchem was taken to the hospital after she was arrested and treated for injuries.
When asked about the incident, Bennett-Parker sent the following statement:
“Last week, my Legislative Aide, Cassidy Ketchem, suffered injuries and was arrested along with 40 other people during a protest in Washington, D.C. Ms. Ketchem has been engaged in anti-racist work for as long as I have known her, and for the past few months, I have witnessed her engaging in peaceful protests in support of the Movement for Black Lives. I emphatically support her and everyone’s first amendment right to peacefully protest and I share her desire to live in a world where Black and brown people are not murdered at the hands of the police. We all must stand up in response to the unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and so many others before them. These recent events remind us that structural change to our nation’s policing and criminal justice systems is desperately needed. Ms. Ketchem is being fully cooperative as part of MPD’s ongoing investigation.”
City Spokesperson Craig Fifer said the city is not involved in the incident.
We facilitate daily peaceful demonstrations in DC. Overnight, intentional fires were set & property destroyed. When this occurs, our members have a responsibility to take action.
At this time, 41 individuals were arrested for Felony Rioting & Assault on Police Officer offenses. pic.twitter.com/GbpWxYMjXm
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) August 14, 2020