“Sedition Panda” was convicted of assaulting an officer on January 6

Jesse James Rumson, the man who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot while dressed in a panda costume, has been found guilty of assaulting a law enforcement officer, as per court documents.

Earlier this month, Rumson made the decision to forgo a jury trial and instead opt for a bench trial. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols found him guilty on all eight counts. The charges included assaulting and resisting Prince George’s County Cpl. Scott Ainsworth, as well as engaging in disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. Rumson is set to be sentenced in September.

According to prosecutors, after rioters broke a door in the Senate wing on Jan. 6, 2021, Rumson was one of the first approximately twenty individuals to access the building through that entryway. Pictures from that day depict Rumson wearing a panda costume head and holding a white flag that bore the message “Don’t tread on me.” Online communities referred to him as “#SeditionPanda.”

According to prosecutors, Rumson misplaced his panda head and was allegedly handcuffed while he was inside the Capitol. Eventually, he was compelled to leave through a different exit.

However, in court documents, prosecutors presented photographs that seemed to depict rioters assisting in the removal of Rumson’s handcuffs.

During the trial, prosecutors presented various photographs of Rumson, both with and without the panda headpiece. It is worth noting that Rumson was apprehended in February 2023, a little over two years following the assault on the Capitol.

According to NBC News, Ainsworth, the officer who was attacked, provided testimony regarding the assault by Rumson last week.

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The Justice Department has taken legal action against over 1,200 criminal cases following the January 6 Capitol assault. Out of these, more than 700 individuals have admitted guilt to a range of charges, and many more have been found guilty in court.

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