DANIEL HOROWITZ | July 20, 2022
Setting a police car on fire during a riot is a pretty serious crime, don’t you think? Some might even call it an insurrection. Yet, in the case of BLM arsonist Ayoub Tabri, he was sentenced to just one year in prison. How much do you think a January 6er would have served for such a crime?
Ayoub Tabri, 25, of Arlington, Virginia, was arrested in 2020 for tossing a lit road flare on a Pennsylvania state trooper’s car during a BLM riot in Philadelphia. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Joel M. Slomsky imposed a 364-day sentence on him rather than the 37 to 46-month sentence recommended by prosecutors. As for the reason, the Philadelphia Inquirer is rightfully confused about whether this is because BLM is a protected cause or because this man’s immigration status made him a protected class.
“But it remains to be seen whether his sentence was a sign of a softening stance toward those charged with similar offenses during the May 30, 2020, unrest or an outlier influenced by the unique immigration consequences that Tabri — a citizen of Morocco who has lived in the U.S. as a green card holder since he was 6 years old — faced because of his crimes.” Tabri was a beneficiary of the diversity visa lottery.
The judge noted in the sentence that because a sentence of 365 days or more would be defined as an “aggravated felony” for the purpose of deportation law, he purposely sentenced him to 364 days to avoid removal from the country. Given the time served in jail pre-trial, this means Tabri will be released immediately on three years’ probation.
In other words, a member of a protected class got protection for engaging in a crime on behalf of another protected class.
Across the board, we have witnessed leniencies for BLM rioters, including those who burned down police stations because judges sympathized with their cause. However, in this case, it is particularly egregious. We should embrace the opportunity to deport violent foreign nationals, not shun it. Typically, we are forced to constantly deal with the revolving door of American violent criminals who continuously get out of jail and reoffend. But why should we keep other countries’ criminals? If indeed this man’s deportation would be difficult, that is a decision ICE should make, not a federal judge.
The Inquirer notes that although this case had an extra wrinkle because of the immigration status, the new Biden U.S. attorney allowed other BLM arsonists to plead down from a seven-year mandatory sentence. Despite videos of Tabri and his friends armed with flares and a hammer, skateboards, a bike lock, and a crowbar attacking other cars, “Assistant U.S. Attorney Vineet Gauri described the plea agreement and the government’s reconsideration of the arson charge as part of “the Justice Department’s holistic view of these cases around the country.”
“A holistic view?” In other words, even though these crimes could have and often did lead to death, serious bodily injury, and widespread destruction, because it was for the “right” sort of cause, they went lenient on the defendants. They took into account prior records and the fact that Tabri otherwise wasn’t in trouble with the law. Contrast that to J6 defenders who served honorably in the military, never had a criminal record, and weren’t nearly as violent, yet they were held without bail.
But the two-tiered justice system is exactly what America’s judicial system has devolved into. Earlier this week, federal prosecutors dropped charges against nine crew members of Stephen Colbert who were caught illegally in the Capitol filming skits. Yet, a 69-year-old cancer patient is serving two months in prison for simply being present in the Capitol after the cops had opened the doors for people to enter.
And no, it’s not because our government suddenly has a Singapore-like affinity for order. Less than 10% of those arrested during the endless riots in Portland wound up being prosecuted. The violence was unprecedented. Yet, at the same time, prosecutors are seeking a 15-year sentence for Guy Wesley Reffitt, who behaved badly on Jan. 6 but never entered the Capitol building and is being charged with the vaguely defined “obstruction of an official proceeding,” a statute that is being used as a de facto terrorism charge. At this rate, had Reffitt torched a cop car at Capitol Hill, they’d be seeking the death penalty. And no, one’s immigration status would never have gotten in the way of a tougher sentence for a J6er.
Equal justice is a thing of the past.