Thomas Webster, a former NYPD officer who was photographed attacking a Washington, D.C. police officer with a flagpole at the January 6 riots, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

He attempted to deny the claim that he instigated the fight, but the jury ruled that he lied on the stand in May when he said he just wanted the officer to “see my hands” after tackling him.

Webster’s legal team also claimed that he was participating in the violent uprising because of PTSD “flashbacks” from his career in the police.

However, Judge Amit P. Mehta said he felt that Webster’s former career made the attack “particularly heinous.”


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“He feels entitled to do what he wants as a former police officer,” Mehta later added.

The judge also suggested that Webster’s violent behavior caused a domino effect of increased chaos at the Capitol. Webster reportedly broke the police line preventing rioters from getting into the building, with Mehta saying, “It is not until you arrived, Mr. Webster, that all hell broke loose.”

At one point, Webster had served on Mike Bloomberg’s security detail while Bloomberg was mayor of New York City. He is also a former marine.

D.C. officer Noah Rathbun was present at Webster’s sentencing in uniform, and Webster apologized to him. Webster also said that he “failed to have the courage to contain himself” at the time of the incident.

“I can’t look at my kids the same way again,” Webster told the court. “I was their hero until January 6..

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