BOSTON (WHDH) - A 37-year-old Boston man has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to opening fire on officers with a firearm during a riot in Boston in June, officials said.
John Boamponh was sentenced to serve at least three and a half years in federal prison and three years of supervised released after he pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with a law enforcement officer during the commission of a civil disorder, receipt of a firearm by a person under indictment for a felony offense, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees, according to a release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Monday.
“We’ve seen protests time and again over the past year. While protesting is a constitutionally protected right, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the public is a crime,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Whether that takes place in the streets of Boston or our nation’s capital, you can be assured that federal law enforcement will investigate those who engage in violence and destruction and hold them to account.”
What began as a peaceful demonstration the Back Bay following to deaths of George Floyd devolved into widespread acts of violence, vandalism, looting, and destruction of police property, including the burning of at least one police vehicle on Tremont Street n the evening of May 31, 2020, and continuing through the morning of June 1.
According to court documents, Boampong was driving his car near the Arlington Street and Boylston Street intersection around 3 a.m. in front of a store that had been victimized by looting that evening.
Officers told Boampong and his passengers to leave the area and passengers in his car initially became verbally combative towards them.
When Boampong reversed the car, officers told him to stop however, officials said Boampong continued driving in reverse and then drove away.
Shortly thereafter, he returned to the area, parked on Providence Street, and shot at least 11 times toward officers, including a deputized federal officer, according to the release.
The officers took cover by bracing or ducking behind cars and other objects. Bullets broke through the windows of two apartments above ground level in a building behind some of the officers.
The gun was later recovered in the vehicle, examined, and found to have Boampong’s fingerprint on it.
At the time, Boampong was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition because he faced pending state charges carrying potential sentences exceeding one year.
“With an illegal firearm, John Boampong shot in the direction of my police officers while thousands of people were expressing their First Amendment rights on June 1, 2020,” said Police Commissioner William G. Gross. “I hope today’s guilty plea will remind people that the Boston Police Department will continue to work with our partners in the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office to send a clear message that committing violent crime in our city, against our residents, and my officers, will not be tolerated.”
Boampong was charged by criminal complaint on June 30, 2020 and has been detained since his arrest on June 1.
(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)