PHILADELPHIA FOX29.com – The first of six people charged with setting fire to police vehicles in Philadelphia during the 2020 protests after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has been sentenced.
Ayoub Tabri, 25, was sentenced Monday to 364 days behind bars — less time than he’s already served in custody, and short enough to avoid triggering deportation proceedings for the Moroccan immigrant.
Lawyers for Tabri, of Arlington, Va., said the green card holder has been in the U.S. since he was 6 years old. A longer sentence, which he and the others faced under the original arson charges that carried a minimum sentence of seven years in prison, could have sent him (deported).
Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain had vowed to pursue the harsher arson charges against the six people arrested. After he left office last year, federal prosecutors worked out plea deals with a handful of those defendants, including Tabri and Lore-Elizabeth Blumenthal. Still, prosecutors argued for a longer sentence in court Monday.
“The judge took into consideration the appropriate factors and imposed a just sentence,” Nancy MacEoin, a federal public defender representing Tabri, said Tuesday.
Attorney Paul Hetznecker declined to comment on the specifics of Blumenthal’s case, but said the shift in prosecution against defendants facing charges from the protests is important.
“This reflects an evolution in the thinking of prosecutors in the justice department about these cases and putting them in the appropriate context,” Hetznecker said. “These cases occurred at an important flashpoint in our history, and they should be viewed that way.”