Judge Dismisses Charges Against Huntington Beach Man Accused of Establishing White Supremacist Group

Federal prosecutors have been barred from pursuing charges against a Huntington Beach man accused of helping establish a Southern California-based militant, white supremacist group. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney dismissed the charges, accusing the U.S. Attorney’s Office of selective prosecution for targeting suspected “far-right, white supremacist nationalists” while ignoring “Antifa and other extremist, far-left groups.”

The accused, identified as the founding member of the Rise Above Movement, is alleged to have recruited and trained individuals to commit violence at rallies in Huntington Beach, San Bernardino, and Berkeley. Prosecutors described the group as a “combat ready, militant group of a new nationalist white supremacy and identity movement” with an “anti-Semitic, racist ideology.” The defendant and his co-defendants are accused of engaging in violent acts at these rallies and promoting their actions on social media to recruit new members.

Judge Carney’s ruling comes after previous attempts to dismiss the charges were overruled by appellate judges. The judge has previously faced scrutiny for a racially insensitive comment that led to his stepping down as chief judge of the federal Central District Court of California.

In his ruling, Judge Carney criticized the government for not prosecuting members of far-left extremist groups, such as Antifa, who allegedly engaged in similar violent acts at these rallies. He emphasized the importance of upholding free speech and assembly rights guaranteed by the Constitution, regardless of political affiliation or ideology.

Federal prosecutors denied any wrongful targeting of Rise Above Movement members, highlighting their public and online boasts about violent conduct and coordinated assaults. They argued that the defendants were prosecuted for their campaign to incite and engage in violence, rather than their political viewpoints.

The dismissal of charges has led to the release of the accused from federal custody, pending the decision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Prosecutors have appealed Judge Carney’s ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case raises questions about the constitutionality of the Anti-Riot Act, which the defendant was charged under. Appellate judges previously found that certain sections of the act intruded on protected speech but reinstated the charges against the defendant. Judge Carney continued to question the act, referring to it as a “once-rarely-used criminal statute.”

Author: CrimeDoor

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