Charlotte Tyler
December 9, 2023

Ex-police chief sentenced to 11 years for Jan. 6 Capitol hatchet incident

Following his conduct during the Capitol unrest on Jan. 6, 2021 a former chief of police from California was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Thursday.

The former law enforcement officer's sentencing and conviction stemmed partially from the fact that he was found to have brought a hatchet to the aforementioned demonstration, as CBS News reported.

In July, Alan Hostetter was found guilty of numerous criminal offenses, one of which was conspiracy. Hostetter continued to speak to his beliefs about the government at both his trial and sentence hearing on Thursday.

The Incident

Instead of taking a plane from California to Washington, D.C., before January 6, Hostetter drove, according to the Justice Department, "so that he could load his car with weapons."

According to federal authorities, he gathered with others on the morning before the Capitol Hill riots and prepared "tactical gear, a helmet, hatchets, knives, stun batons, pepper spray, and other gear for himself and others."

Prosecutors say he walked to the Capitol from the White House Ellipse after the demonstration, all the while carrying a hatchet in his bag.

He became part of a group that moved past the police officers stationed at a lower terrace on the Capitol's west side.

Once on the upper level, Hostetter shouted, "The people have taken back their house. Hundreds of thousands of patriots showed up today to take back their government!"

In Court

An attorney from the Justice Department detailed Hostetter's acts on Jan. 6 and referred to him as "a terrorist" during arguments on Thursday.

The prosecution included Hostetter's alleged pre-attack remarks, in which he said, "Choke that city off," as evidence. We need patriots to fill it. In his words, "put the fear of God into members of Congress."

In a nearly hour-long statement pleading for mercy, Hostetter made several contested claims, such as the 2020 election being "stolen" and that Jan. 6 was a "false flag" operation sponsored by the federal government, among others.

In his accusation, he named "crisis actors" within the crowd and said that "hundreds, if not thousands" of individuals were involved in a government-planned "set-up" to trap demonstrators.

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