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Philadelphia man charged in assault during 2020 protest

July 7, 2021 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia man has been charged with assault and recklessly endangering another person for allegedly knocking over a Black Lives Matter protester and beating him during protests last summer.

Richard “Richie” Goodwin, 45, was arrested Wednesday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office announced in a news release. The arrest comes more than a year after the encounter between people protesting racial injustice and police brutality and a group of mostly white, male residents wielding hatchets, baseball bats and golf clubs in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The encounter on June 1, 2020, during the protests that followed George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis drew national attention as videos and photos of the vigilante group taking selfies with officers, being thanked by some police and delivering pizza to the station went viral. The group claimed to be protecting the 26th District police station, and the officers and police department leadership faced stiff criticism over the lack of reaction to the armed group.

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Several violent altercations broke out between the vigilantes and protesters. Prosecutors allege Goodwin, whose brother is a police officer at the station, knocked over a man riding his bicycle through the gathering who had pumped his fist in support of Black Lives Matter protesters.

Prosecutors say other members of the mob threw bottles and verbal threats at the man before Goodwin knocked him down and began hitting him.

Court records did not show any attorney information for Goodwin Wednesday afternoon.

In June of last year, prosecutors charged George Graf, 37, with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking a WHYY reporter and his girlfriend during the encounter.