Reporters, demonstrators and police during protests on Inauguration Day. (Screen shot via YouTube)

Aaron Cantú was one of a handful of journalists arrested during the Washington, D.C., protests against Donald Trump’s inauguration. While other reporters have seen their charges dropped, a federal grand jury has indicted Cantú, who faces a 75-year prison sentence if convicted.

The Huffington Post reports:

Cantú, who says he was working as a journalist at the time, was one of 230 people arrested during violent demonstrations held Jan. 20 as President Donald Trump was sworn into office. Six other journalists were among those detained by authorities, all of whom have since had charges against them dropped.

A grand jury indicted Cantú last week on eight felony charges, including inciting a riot, rioting and conspiracy to riot, according to his current employer, the Santa Fe Reporter. The paper published a story in defense of his actions, and the outlet’s editor said it continued to “stand behind him.”

The Daily Beast says a video filmed by a conservative reporter shows that Cantú wasn’t near disruptive protesters.

The video “showed Cantú in the middle of a group of reporters, a considerable distance from demonstrators,” the Daily Beast writes. “He appeared to be rubbing pepper spray from his eyes.”

Watch the video below (the moment referenced by the Daily Beast begins around the 8:15 mark):

“One person arrested during the protests, who requested anonymity due to pending charges, said police conducted arrests broadly, after a large group of people moving through the streets became stalled against a police line,” the Daily Beast continues. “Police tactics were quickly called into question, and became the subject of a D.C. Police Complaints Board report the following month, which found that ‘some arrests may not have been carried out according to the Standard Operating Procedures, and that less than lethal weapons were used indiscriminately and without adequate warnings in certain instances.’ “

“Aaron is an experienced journalist who disclosed this pending case during the hiring process,” Julie Ann Grimm, editor and publisher of the Santa Fe Reporter, told the Huffington Post. “We stand behind him and look forward to his continued good work in his new home in Santa Fe.”

Read more here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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