PITTSBURGH – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The one-count Indictment, returned on August 26, 2020, named Jordan Coyne, 25, as the sole defendant. Coyne self-surrendered this morning.
“Throwing rocks, bricks and pieces of concrete at Pittsburgh Police officers and vehicles are not acts of protest – they are federal crimes. Jordan Coyne’s reckless, violent behavior endangered police officers and drowned out the protected speech of lawful protesters,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “Make no mistake: if you attack police officers or commit violent crime under the guise of a protest, you will be indicted federally. We will not tolerate these unlawful acts in western Pennsylvania.”
“There were hundreds of innocent people around when this individual decided it was ok to throw dangerous objects at law enforcement officers and their vehicle,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. “This type of behavior is not acceptable. As I’ve said before, the FBI supports every citizens’ constitutional right to peaceably protest. We will not support those who hijack these peaceful protests to pursue their own agenda.”
“The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police has said from the outset that we are committed to respecting protesters First Amendment rights, but we will never tolerate criminal activity that puts the public and our police officers at risk in what should be peaceful demonstrations,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert. “The seriousness of this crime is reflected in the federal charges that have been leveled today. We thank the US Attorney’s Office, as well as all of our law enforcement partners at the local state and federal levels, for their tireless commitment to holding criminals accountable for their actions.”
According to the Indictment, Coyne obstructed law enforcement officers during civil unrest that occurred on May 30, 2020, in downtown Pittsburgh. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Coyne threw projectiles at several Pittsburgh Police officers and damaged a Pittsburgh Police vehicle by throwing a projectile through its rear window.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than five years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, or a combination thereof. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would
be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan D. Lusty is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.