Iowan who attacked a D.C. police officer on Jan. 6 will serve a prison sentence
An Iowa man will serve a total of more than seven years in prison for attacking a police officer during the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. It’s the longest sentence so far handed down to any of the eight Iowans charged with participating in the insurrection.
When a rioter dragged D.C. police officer Michael Fanone into a crowd at the Capitol, Kyle Young from Redfield pushed through others to get to him, but not to help. Instead, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Young held Fanone by the arm while others beat him and shocked him with a taser.
Young, 38, pleaded guilty in May to one felony charge of assaulting or restraining a police officer.
Jackson on Tuesday ordered Young to serve a total of 86 months in jail, including the time he’s already spent in custody. That will be followed by three years of supervised release. Young must also pay restitution to the officers he attacked, but that amount has not been set.
Fanone described what he experienced from the witness stand at the sentencing hearing in a federal courtroom in Washington, D.C.
“At that point I was out in a crowd of thousands of people, no threat to anyone, being ruthlessly beaten for no reason other than the fact that I was a police officer there to prevent them from gaining entry into the Capitol.”
With his arm held, Fanone said he was unable to reach his gun to protect himself or his radio, which he called his “lifeline,” to call for help. Both his radio and his badge were pulled off of his uniform before others in the crowd intervened to carry him to safety.
Fanone later resigned from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. He said the assault shook his own faith in law enforcement. He asked Judge Jackson to give Young a sentence of ten years, longer than prosecutors had recommended. Then he addressed Young directly.
“But more important than the ten-year sentence is what you do with that time, Mr. Young. What I hope you do with that time is I hope you suffer,” Fanone said, concluding his remarks.
Shortly before Young joined in the attack on Fanone, Judge Jackson said he was in the West Terrace tunnel, where police engaged in brutal hand-to-hand fighting with rioters, trying to keep them out of the building.
Jackson described Young as part of the mob that heaved against officers’ riot shields. She said he grabbed a strobe light to shine into officers' eyes and then handed it to his then 16-year-old son whom he had brought to the Capitol. He helped someone throw a PA speaker at the line of police, although it hit another rioter instead. He also picked up a taser gun and handed it to the man who later used it to shock Officer Fanone in the neck.
Taken together, Jackson said, Young’s actions were “some of the darkest acts committed on one of our nation’s darkest days.”
Young also spoke from the witness stand where he apologized to Fanone.
“I hope someday you forgive me,” Young said. “If it takes time or years I’m willing to accept that. I’m willing to accept whatever punishment comes with what happened that day, but I know how much you have to hurt over that and what happened to you and I am so, so sorry.”
Young’s attorney said he went to D.C. with his son to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House. He had believed the lie promoted by former President Donald Trump that the election was stolen. Young never planned to be part of an attack on the Capitol, but was caught up in the violence that others had fueled and directed at Congress.
Judge Jackson said Young’s repeated attacks on officers made him more than a bystander. She said his sentence must, in part, serve as a warning to others who would consider using political violence as a tool to reshape election results in their favor.
“It’s not as if divisions in our country have eased in any way. The heated and inflammatory rhetoric that brought the defendant to the District has not subsided,” Jackson said, adding that the election lie is still circulated widely among Republican leaders and candidates.
“The Judiciary, if no one else, has to make it clear — it has to be crystal clear — that it is not patriotism, it is not standing up for America to stand up for one man who knows full well that he has lost instead of the Constitution he was trying to subvert.”
Young is the second Iowan to be sentenced to jail time for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. In June, Daryl Johnson of St. Ansgar was given 30 days in jail on a civil disorder charge.
Last week, Doug Jensen of Des Moines was convicted by a D.C. jury on seven counts connected to breaking into the Capitol and chasing a Capitol Police officer up a stairway near the Senate chamber. The most serious of those counts carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
On Friday, Kenneth Rader of Sioux City is scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty earlier this year to illegally entering the Capitol.