A Dorchester man is facing more charges stemming from violence that broke out after the conclusion of protests in the city at the end of May.
John Boampong, 37, was already charged with 21 counts of armed assault with intent to murder. Police alleged he was driving a car from which 10 gunshots were fired in the direction of officers near the Boston Common around 3 a.m. on June 1. Boampong pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office charged Boampong with three federal charges: assaulting a federal officer, interfering with law enforcement during civil disorder and being a prohibited person under felony indictment in possession of a firearm and ammunition. (Prior to his arrest on June 1, Boampong was facing state charges that barred him from having guns or ammunition.)
“The charges in this case ... are a good reminder of a simple rule: Protests, even disruptive ones, are legal. Destroying property and endangering lives is not. We will enforce that rule. This is also today’s reminder that what police officers really do every day is put themselves at risk to protect our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
Thousands gathered for that march and demonstration against police violence, and there were no notable acts of violence before the event officially ended. It was one of countless protests held across the U.S. in the days after the death of George Floyd, a Black Minnesota man who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. After the Boston protest's conclusion, however, the night devolved into confrontations, with police deploying tear gas on crowds and some people destroying property and looting stores.
In total, 53 people were arrested. The charges against Boampong are the most serious.
“Today’s charges should send a clear message: there will be serious consequences for violent instigators who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law," said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston division, in a statement.
Currently held in state court, Boampong is set to appear in federal court in Boston at a later date, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.