Alexander Sheppard, 24, a man convicted on several charges for his involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot, is embracing his 19-month prison sentence as a mark of honor, designating himself a “political prisoner.” On the cusp of his incarceration, Sheppard remained vociferous in his loyalty to former President Donald Trump, expressing this sentiment on a social media platform once known as Twitter.
Before surrendering to authorities on Thursday, Sheppard shared an image displaying a thumbs-up gesture while donning a shirt with Trump’s likeness and the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon”—a slogan widely interpreted as criticism of President Joe Biden. Sheppard characterized his imminent imprisonment as an act of political retribution, claiming he was being punished for “peacefully protesting” during the Capitol breach.
Sheppard’s post read, “Today I turn myself in to federal prison for the 19 month sentence I received for peacefully protesting inside the People’s House on January 6th, 2021.” He contended that his conviction was an injustice, concluding, “It is my great honor to be held hostage as a political prisoner in these United States of America. Goodbye, for now …”
Following his prison term, Sheppard is to undergo 24 months of supervised release and was directed to pay restitution and fines totaling $3,170 at his sentencing on September 6.
Sheppard’s convictions from January encompassed an array of charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and various offenses related to his conduct within the Capitol and its grounds.
Public declarations of Sheppard’s support for Trump have been consistent on social media. He has recently equated his legal troubles to those faced by Trump, insinuating they were both targeted for challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
The DOJ presented evidence at trial indicating that Sheppard was among the initial group to breach the Capitol defenses, aggressively confronting law enforcement.
During the incident, Sheppard filmed himself celebrating the disruption of Congress, and subsequent footage depicted him aggressively confronting Capitol Police officers. His departure from the scene coincided with witnessing the shooting of another rioter.
Sheppard’s rhetoric following the riot escalated to endorsing extreme measures against then-Vice President Mike Pence for not discarding the election results, as seen in his post on Parler.