WASHINGTON — A retired New York Police Department officer who was convicted of multiple felonies for attacking a DC cop with a flagpole on Jan. 6, then tackled the officer to the ground and attempted to snatch his gas mask was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Thursday.
Thomas Webster was sentenced by Judge Amit P. Mehta to the longest sentence to date in a January 6 case.
Webster, 56, was convicted by a jury in May after determining that he was lying on the bar when he tried to convince them that he was trying to help the officer he assaulted”see my handswhen he grabbed the officer’s gas mask after knocking him to the ground.
No one should be “joyful” that Webster was facing 17.5 years in federal prison, Mehta said Thursday.
“What you did that day is hard to put into words,” Mehta told Webster. “I’m still in shock every time I see .”
Mehta said Webster was “the first aggressor” in his confrontation with the DC police officer, and “all hell broke loose” at the police cordon when Webster showed up at that part of the police cordon.
“Nothing can explain or justify Mr. Webster’s anger,” Assistant US Attorney Hava Arin Levenson Mirell told the judge. “Webster is one of the rioters who should have known better.”
“No one knows better than a former cop how dangerous it was on January 6,” the federal prosecutor said, saying Webster’s service made his behavior “particularly heinous.”
While he didn’t know better than “believing Trump’s lie,” he knew better than to assault officers, Mirell said.
“He feels entitled to do whatever he wants as a former police officer,” Mirell said. Webster went “old school” and “rogue” on January 6, she said, adding that she “incited violence” and clearly anticipated a violent confrontation.
The Justice Department argued, as the jury found, that Webster was very clearly lying on the stand, calling his claims that the officer he attacked caused the fight “absurd.” It would have been “absolutely insane” for the officer Webster assaulted to invite Webster to fight him, the prosecutor said.
The arguments made by Webster and his team “couldn’t be more at odds with his testimony,” Mehta said.
“I take no pleasure in doing this,” Mehta said during sentencing, saying Webster “constructed an alternative truth” on the stand.
“The video doesn’t lie,” Mehta said. “The jury saw through, I saw through, it wasn’t that hard. And I’m sorry you thought you could get up there and suggest otherwise.”
Webster’s lawyers had asked for a lighter sentence, arguing in a deposit earlier this week that he suffered from PTSD from his career as a police officer and blamed his actions on January 6, in part, on “flashbacks”.
Thomas Robertson, another former officer, was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison last month, in the same way Texas extremist Guy Reffitt.