A Utah man accused of assaulting police officers during the Capitol riots invited several of his MAGA friends to his Thursday court appearance—then wreaked havoc during the hearing, repeatedly screaming at the judge and court officials.
“You people fucked this up,” Landon Kenneth Copeland ranted during the Zoom hearing on Thursday. “You’re going to give me a psych eval. I don’t like 70 percent of my income going to the government. Fuck all of you!”
Copeland, a 33-year-old who on Thursday described himself as a veteran who “got shot in Iraq,” faces several charges, including assaulting officers and disorderly contact, for allegedly attacking several law-enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 siege. Prosecutors allege that during a scuffle, Copeland grabbed a riot shield, shoved a fellow insurrectionist into a police line, and threw “a metal bike rack fence barricade” at officers.
During his Thursday hearing, Copeland was joined by some of his Trump-supporting friends and, at one point, his mother. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather ended up kicking out one of his friends after they chose an “expletive” as their Zoom username.
The chaos began even before Copeland’s hearing, as he shouted while other accused rioters made their appearances before the judge, forcing court officials to put him on mute. At one point he tried to object to another defense lawyer claiming his client had “Foxitus” after watching six months of Fox News during the pandemic.
The second he was taken off mute, Copeland began to scream, “I’m going to tell the truth.”
“I don’t like you people... you’re a robot to me... you can’t come get me if I don’t want you to... Fuck all of you... Fuck all of you,” he shouted during his tirade, at which point a judge put him in a separate Zoom room so that he could no longer interrupt the proceeding. “I wanna talk in open court you motherfuckers!”
Earlier in the hearing, Copeland also told a court clerk, “You are evil!” and asked, “At what point am I a free individual versus a pre-trial confinement individual?” “Is any of this negotiable? I used to be a free man... until you locked me up,” Copeland insisted.
After an hour-long break in Copeland’s hearing so court officials could discuss how to proceed given the constant interruptions, his lawyer told Judge Meriweather that his client “is in a crisis.” The comment seemed to anger Copeland, who then hung up from his own hearing. He re-joined about 10 minutes later.
“In my conversations with him, I don’t think he’s being intentionally belligerent. I don’t think he’s competent to proceed right now,” his lawyer added. Prosecutors acknowledged on Thursday that Copeland has previously said he suffered from PTSD.
Meriweather said she would refer Copeland to behavioral health authorities for a remote competency screening and then set another status hearing.
According to a criminal complaint, videos and photographs of the riots “depict Copeland’s assaultive and obstructive conduct” that forced officers to use pepper spray on him in self-defense. “In response, Copeland pushed or threw the fence toward multiple law enforcement officers,” the complaint states.
When federal authorities interviewed Copeland on Feb. 11, he admitted he went to a rally in D.C. to support President Donald Trump—and that he fought with officers outside the Capitol.
Copeland then allegedly insisted that he felt “police officers were trying to ‘penetrate the line’ of the protesters and ‘steal’ individual members of the crowd, including one person who Copeland described as having been shot in the face by an officer.” Copeland, who insisted he did not enter the Capitol, was seemingly referring to Ashli Babbitt, one of the five individuals who died as a result of the siege.
“So that everyone knows I go to see the FBI and a judge tomorrow,” Copeland wrote in an April 28 Facebook post, which was also read during his hearing. “I guess peacefully protesting at the Capitol is now illegal and they are trying to hunt us all down to try and teach us a lesson. Unfortunately, only one option remains when we return. We bring guns and take the Capitol building without intention of being peaceful. This ends with the government bombing their own people. I had hopes it wouldn’t. But here we are.”