Article Written by Nick Mastrangelo and Laura Elizabeth Jenkins.
Arrangements for Jake Lang’s recent status hearing flip-flopped several times. Yet this didn’t stop him from insisting he stand before Judge Carl Nichols to present his case.
Lang was scheduled to appear virtually in court from DC jail Wednesday. The government’s last-minute decision to transfer him to Lewisburg, PA federal prison created burdensome quarantine requirements that interfered with his attendance. The time of the proceeding was also switched suddenly.
This wasn’t the first time in which prison protocol delayed court proceedings for J6 defendants. Kenneth Harrelson missed last month’s a bond hearing due to a quarantine. Alan Byerly’s attorney documented how the DC jail prevented him from scheduling a meeting with his client until two days after his required appearance.
Lang believes virtual meetings from prison — which can be scheduled and rescheduled haphazardly — do not allow him to put this best foot forward. Despite the judge’s suggestion to set another hearing at the end of next month, Lang and his attorney, Steven Metcalf, requested a meeting in early April.
While addressing a diverse crowd of peaceful protesters outside the courthouse, Metcalf says he will continue reminding the court of the violence individuals at the Jan. 6th rally encountered at the hands of police.
“If a man is going to be charged in isolated instances where he’s alleged to have been violent, then the circumstances surrounding it all have to be looked into and considered as well,” he explained.
“The police would not have backed away within minutes and seconds that were crucial to people’s lives.”
“Justification as a defense is something we are going to legally continue to challenge with Edward Jacob Lang’s case, and we’re not going to stop.”
Metcalf brought forward eyewitness Tommy Tatum to officially sign an affidavit in front of the crowd. Tatum details how he was beaten by police next to Roseanne Boyland just moments before she died. His life was in grave danger when he was rescued by Jake.
“I came to my Capitol to participate in politics, and I’d never done that before. Then my government tried to kill me,” Tatum declared.
Hear more of Tatum’s speech from that day below:
After the signing, other two individuals in the crowd felt moved to spontaneously speak. A Black Lives Matter supporter in his early twenties garnered applause as he spoke about the unsettling treatment of black individuals. The crowd applauded him for his courage, and unifying message. (see below)
A retired Anacostia resident boldly expressed how individuals can silence their fear for speaking out against the government. (see below)
The crowd applauded again, in plain sight of two Department of Homeland Security officials who showed up to monitor the event.
Lang’s next status hearing takes place April 5th, with another peaceful street protest arranged for that afternoon. This is on the same day as proceedings for J6 defendants Alan Byerly, Mason Courson, Justin Jersey, Clayton Mullins, Michael Lopatic Sr, Jeffrey Sabol, Ron McAbee, Logan Barnhart, Jack Whitton, Peter Stager, and Christine Priola.