A Black man who traveled to Washington on Jan. 6 and then posted threats against Congress complained about a 14-month sentence for his crime, telling the judge it was “racism.” Troy Smocks, of Dallas, was not charged with entering the Capitol and rioting, but he made menacing comments about the lawmakers who upheld the election of Joe Biden. “Let’s hunt these cowards down like the Traitors that each of them are,” he wrote on Parler. When Smocks, who pleaded guilty, learned his sentence—which was shorter than the five years maximum he could have received—he was livid. “Your honor, this is racism,” he said, referencing a white rioter who got a lesser punishment and even invoking Martin Luther King Jr.
The judge, who was also Black, wasn’t having it, and noted that Smocks had a long criminal history and expressed no remorse. “Coming into this courtroom and trying to make yourself out to be a victim of racism… I find that offensive,” she said. “There are people who died for civil rights. For you to hold yourself up somehow as a soldier in that fight is really quite audacious.”