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Government drops charges against all inauguration protesters

| Friday, July 6, 2018, 6:54 p.m.
In this Jan. 20, 2017, file photo, police deploy smoke and pepper grenades during clashes with protesters in northwest Washington. The U.S. government is dropping charges against the last 39 people accused of taking part in a violent protest on the day of President Trump’s inauguration.
In this Jan. 20, 2017, file photo, police deploy smoke and pepper grenades during clashes with protesters in northwest Washington. The U.S. government is dropping charges against the last 39 people accused of taking part in a violent protest on the day of President Trump’s inauguration.

WASHINGTON — The federal government is dropping charges against the last 39 people accused of participating in a violent protest on the day of President Trump's inauguration.

Friday's motion to dismiss charges seemingly ends an 18-month saga that started with the Justice Department attempting to convict more than 190 people.

More than 200 people were arrested after the protest, during which several store windows were broken and a parked limo set ablaze.

Two group trials ended in defeats for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which was hindered by the fact that most protesters wore similar black clothing and covered their faces.

The first trial ended with acquittals for all six defendants. A second trial for four people in May ended in acquittals on most charges and a hung jury on the rest.

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