A spokesman from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia issued a press release early Thursday evening announcing that it will drop felony rioting charges against 129 of the 234 people arrested in an inauguration day protest last year.
Protestors, many of whom were charged with felonies for acts including destruction of property and conspiracy to riot, faced up to 60 years in prison. A jury acquitted six of the defendants last December after prosecutors failed to prove that protestors who weren’t directly involved in the destruction of property helped conspire to perpetrate that destruction.
About twenty protestors have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, whose penalties include a fine and community service.
The government will continue to pursue charges against another 59 people arrested—protestors the U.S. Attorney’s Office referred to as a “smaller, core group that we believe is most responsible for the destruction and violence that took place.”