The Daily Beast
Criminal ComplaintA Utah man accused of assaulting police officers during the Capitol riots invited several of his MAGA friends to his initial court appearance on Thursday—then wreaked havoc during the hearing, yelling at the judge and calling a court official “evil.”Landon Kenneth Copeland, 33, faces several charges, including assaulting officers and disorderly contact, for allegedly attacking several law-enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 siege. Prosecutors allege that during a scuffle, Copeland grabbed a riot shield, shoved a fellow insurrectionist into a police line, and threw “a metal bike rack fence barricade” at officers. During his initial court appearance on Thursday, Copeland came ready for another fight, this time with several lawyers and court officials after he boldly invited some of his friends—and his mother—to join the Zoom. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather ended up kicking out one of his friends after they chose an “expletive” as their username.Soon after, Copeland began to shout, telling those in the virtual hearing, “I am in my car, I have nothing to hide.” ‘A Terrible Thing’: Husband of Colorado Mom Who Vanished on Mother’s Day Charged With MurderAfter someone asked a court clerk to mute Copeland, the alleged rioter responded: “You are evil!” Refusing to comply with Meriweather’s order to remain silent during the hearing, Copeland interrupted to ask about his conditions, asking, “at what point am I a free individual versus a pre-trial confinement individual?” “Is any of this negotiable? I used to be a free man...until you locked me up,” Copeland said, before finally hushing up.According to a criminal complaint, videos and photographs of the riots “depict Copeland’s assaultive and obstructive conduct” that forced officers to use pepper spray on him in self-defense. “In response, Copeland pushed or threw the fence toward multiple law enforcement officers,” the complaint states.When federal authorities interviewed Copeland on Feb. 11, he admitted he went to a rally in D.C. to support President Donald Trump—and that he fought with officers outside the Capitol. Copeland then allegedly insisted that he felt “police officers were trying to ‘penetrate the line’ of the protesters and ‘steal’ individual members of the crowd, including one person who Copeland described as having been shot in the face by an officer.” Copeland, who insisted he did not enter the Capitol, was seemingly referring to Ashli Babbitt, one of the five individuals who died as a result of the siege. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.