Two Pennsylvania men have been sentenced to federal prison after they were convicted of destroying and attempting to set fire to a police vehicle during last year’s protests over the murder of George Floyd.
Da’Jon Lengyel, 24, of McKees Rocks was sentenced Friday to 27 months in prison. Christopher West, 36, of Pittsburgh was ordered to serve four years, receiving more time than Lengyl in part because of his criminal history.
Videos showed two men identified as the defendants jumping up and down on the roof of the vehicle during protests on May 30, 2020 in downtown Pittsburgh. They are seen with other rioters trying to set a fire in the police car. Prosecutors said the group placed cardboard and paper into the passenger compartment and one ignited the material.
Both pleaded guilty earlier to conspiracy and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder in connection to the riot.
West still faces state charges over allegations that he took a news photographer’s camera during the riot. He acknowledged wrongdoing in a lengthy speech to the court.
“I know what I did was wrong, and I want to serve punishment for it,” West said. “It was impulsive. I followed the crowd. I should have been a leader, not a follower.”
The death of Floyd, a Black man, after a White police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest last year in Minneapolis triggered racial justice protests across the nation. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for murder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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