The son of former vice presidential candidate and Democrat Tim Kaine is facing three misdemeanor charges after disrupting a “March for Trump” rally. His father, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Linwood “Woody” Kaine, 24, was arrested last March under the suspicion of second-degree riot along with four others, after participating in an anti-Trump protest at the state Capitol. On Friday, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Linwood Kaine was charged with one gross misdemeanor count of “fleeing on foot, concealing identity in a public place, and obstructing legal process,” according to The Hill.
The Ramsey County AO charged seven other protesters in connection with the incident. The other protesters were hit with various misdemeanor charges, in addition to felony charges for two of Linwood’s counterparts. The obstruction of justice charge carries a fine of $3,000, in addition to a possible sentence of up to one year in prison, according to the 2016 Minnesota Statutes.
A group of about 75 to 125 counter-protesters appeared at a rally on March 4, 2017, to confront supporters of President Donald Trump, the complaint alleged.
Officials claim they saw a small group of five to seven protesters hide behind a bush to put on black clothing and cover their faces with masks or black cloth. Steven Frazer, St. Paul Police senior commander, described the protesters’ dress as “an indication of people who identify as anarchists and often commit criminal acts such as assaults, criminal damage to property, and riot at protest-related events.”
The protesters then entered the state Capitol, where the police said they engaged in confrontational behavior by “chanting, yelling, blowing whistles, using air horns, and confronting Trump supporters.” During the demonstration, one officer saw smoke coming from the west steps. A Trump supporter told them a person dressed in all black had thrown a smoke bomb.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said, according to a press release, that some demonstrators intentionally created the chaotic situation.
“Some of the counter-demonstrators, equipped with face and head coverings and goggles, broke away and attempted to enter the rally from the second floor staircase by pushing and shoving… During the disturbance, they employed smoke bombs, mace and fireworks, thereby creating a chaotic and dangerous situation.”
It was reported that Frazer confronted one of the protesters — who was later identified as Kaine. Frazer ordered him to stop, but Kaine continued to run. Other officers arrived to help Frazer and they were able to apprehend Kaine, but he allegedly continued to fight the officers, “bucking and flaring his arms and legs,” according to the complaint.
John Choi, the Ramsey County attorney, said it is a threat to democracy when people are prevented to peacefully gather. “When people seek to prevent others who are peacefully assembled from making their voices heard, it threatens the very foundation of our democracy.”
At this point, it is unclear whether Kaine has a lawyer to represent him.
William Bueckert was also charged with two felony counts of obstructing the legal process and prohibited use of tear gas. Francis Sagermerek was charged with one felony count of prohibited use of tear gas. Officials have reported that a Minnesota state trooper fractured his thumb while apprehending Bueckert.
“When people seek to prevent others who are peacefully assembled from making their voices heard, it threatens the very foundation of our democracy,” Choi said. “I am pleased that we were able to gather sufficient evidence to charge these defendants.”
Son of Senator Tim Kaine arrested for 'rioting' at pro-Trump rally in Minnesota https://t.co/svTmlmlR59— Independent US (@IndyUSA) March 8, 2017
Miryam Lipper, a spokeswoman for the senator and his wife, said that the charges do not include a “suggestion that he engaged in disruptive behavior while at the rally.” The spokeswoman also said Tim and Anne Kaine support their son and are hoping the matter will soon be resolved, according to CNN.
“Today’s announcement of misdemeanor charges against Sen. Kaine’s son contains no suggestion that he engaged in disruptive behavior while at the rally, but are instead focused on his actions as he was arrested after he left… Tim and Anne support their son and hope the matter is resolved soon.”
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/Getty Images]