The Associated Press (“AP News”) is reporting that hundreds of rioters have been charged, convicted and sentenced for activities during the January 6, 2021 US Capitol protest and breach. Unlike most of the others, Samuel Lazar’s case appears to have been resolved in secret — kept under seal with no explanation, even after his release from prison.
Samuel Lazar (37) of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, was arrested on charges that he came to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, dressed in tactical gear and protective goggles, and used chemical spray on Capitol Police officers.
There is no public record of a conviction or a sentence in Lazar’s court docket.
The AP News report may be read HERE.
On July 27, 2021, the US Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia (“USAO-DC”) issued a press release (“PR”) regarding the arrest and charges filed against Lazar. The PR may be read HERE.
The USAO-DC maintains a spreadsheet listing all of the cases it has filed pertaining to the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. The list includes all of the defendants charged in federal court and may be viewed HERE.
According to the USAO-DC, Samuel Lazar (Case No. 1:21-mj-533) was arrested on July 26, 2021, and made his initial court appearance the following day. He was federally charged with 1) Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding Certain Officers; 2) Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder; 3) Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; and 4) Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building or Grounds.
My brothers and sisters, Lazar’s case raises questions and concern about government transparency, because court hearings and records — including sentencing hearings and plea agreements — are supposed to be open and available to the public and the press unless there is a compelling need for secrecy.
The aggressiveness and secrecy involved in the charging, incarceration and disposition of “1/6” defendants is seemingly unprecedented. As a “free” country, justice needs to be JUST. This case does not, so far as anyone has ever alleged, involve espionage. And, in so far as this writer can glean, there was no reason to believe that protestors with pepper spray were about to overthrow the US government – although the US federal government is treating this case as if that is exactly what transpired.
I make no excuse for law breaking and certainly not for violence – even if associated with constitutionally-protected protests; however, to the best of this writer’s knowledge, the allegations that protestors killed Capitol police officers on January 6, 2021 are unfounded. In fact, the only person who actually died that day, died at the hands of a Capitol Police commander, who shot an unarmed veteran inside the Capitol building.
Truth and transparency are needed desperately in this matter, as in all matters undertaken on our behalf as US citizens by our own government. The issue to many seems to be the hatred of former President Donald J. Trump – so much so, that for many, foregoing the basic liberties and protections pursuant to the US Constitution are not much of a concern when it comes to those charged in the “1/6” matter. Worse yet, our government is doing much of this behind closed doors. In so far as this writer is concerned, this is shameful and should not be so.
Those in authority and overseeing the prosecution of the “1/6” matter would be well advised to prayerfully consider the below scriptures. The LORD is just, faithful, truthful and compassionate. We should desire to be just like Him.
Micah 6:8 (ESV)
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Proverbs 10:9 (NKJV)
“He who walks with integrity walks securely, [b]ut he who perverts his ways will become known.”
Proverbs 10:12 (Amplified Bible)
“Hatred stirs up strife, [b]ut love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].”
Praise Jesus forevermore!