Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett was arrested on January 8 for his role in the US Capitol riots two days prior
The Arkansas man allegedly armed with a stun gun who was photographed placing his foot on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk during the MAGA riot at the US Capitol on January 6 has been freed from jail.
Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett, 60, was released after filing a motion comparing himself to a Black Lives Matter protesters who took to the streets after the May 2020 police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
During the proceedings, Cooper said he was ‘confused’ about Barnett’s claim as stated in his legal motion that his actions were somehow linked to BLM protests of last summer, according to BuzzFeed News.
‘The events that took place on January 6, 2021, did not occur in a vacuum,’ Barnett’s legal motion reads.
‘On May 25, 2020, the world watched as George Floyd was murdered by the government on national television.
‘Immediately thereafter, protest broke out across the United States. People simply had enough, and for a moment, the entire world agreed that Black Lives Mattered more than ever before.’
The legal motion continued: ‘Out of tragedy, something very beautiful began to take place. Change was coming – and it would happen through us.’
Cooper asked McBridge to ‘clear up’ the connection between BLM protests and Barnett.
McBride responded that the MAGA riot at the US Capitol was preceded by several protests throughout 2020. He said that those arrested during BLM demonstrations were granted release.
The judge, however, responded that he didn’t see the relevance to Barnett’s case. But he ruled Tuesday that Barnett should be granted house detention, with the alleged rioter set to be freed from jail in the coming days.
Barnett was able to get into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the raid
In seeking to reverse an earlier court ruling that kept Barnett in jail pending his trial, his attorney claimed that he is not a threat to society because he used the word ‘biatch’ and not ‘b****’ in his letter to the speaker.
The government is claiming the letter read, ‘Hey Nancy, Bigo was here b****’,’ but the defense attorneys are arguing it actually said, ‘Hey Nancy, Bigo was here ‘biatch.’
‘On information and belief, the “d” was meant to be two letters a “c” and “h”; with the “c” connected to the “h” to spell “biatch”, which is a slang and less offensive word for “b****”,’ the lawyers write.
They included a link to a definition for the term from FreeDictionary.com in their motion.
The website defines ‘biatch’ as ‘rude slang, a variant of b**** used as a term of endearment or disparagement from another person.’
He went through the Democratic speaker’s mail and left her a message
‘As such,’ the motion continues, ‘Richard now asks this court to look past and ultimately disregard the government’s distorted representations, which do not rise to the level of showing ‘dangerousness’ and grant Richard pretrial release as required by law.’
The claim directly contrasts a video taken after the raid in which Barnett, of Arkansas, could be seen proudly proclaiming that he wrote, ‘Nancy, Bigo was here b****.’
But the lawyers representing Barnett in federal court further claimed in their motion on Friday that the government purposely distorted the verbiage of the note because it could not legally keep him detained.
‘The government’s misrepresentation of Exhibit 7 is its latest deliberate attempt to mislead this court by casting Mr. Barnett in the worst possible light in order to ensure that pretrial release is not granted in this case,’ the lawyers wrote in the motion.
‘The government has also utterly failed in demonstrating a specific articulated future threat of danger to the community.’
Barnett did not coordinate or plan the attack on the Capitol, they argue, and alleged the stun gun he is said to have carried was really just a ‘collapsible walking stick.’
The two lawyers asked for him to be released until his trial on federal charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct.
US District Judge Christopher Cooper agreed with Barnett’s attorneys that federal prosecutors failed to show that he was a threat to public safety.
Defense attorneys representing Barnett are now claiming he wrote ‘biatch’ instead of ‘b****,’ which they said is not as bad
Barnett’s release comes with several conditions, including home detention. He is to wear an ankle monitor at all times and is not permitted to travel outside a 50-mile radius from his hometown of Gravette, Arkansas.
Barnett is also not permitted to possess firearms or any other weapons. His passport has been revoked and he is barred from applying for a new one.
He is also not permitted to associate with anyone from the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
In arguing for Barnett’s release, McBride also claimed that Barnett removed the batteries out of a walking stick stun gun that he allegedly carried with him to the Capitol.
Cooper challenged McBride’s assertion, asking how he would know that.
McBride said that the government has yet to present evidence that the stun gun, which was never recovered, had its lights on on January 6.
Barnett was arrested for his role in the riots on Jan. 8 in Bentonville, Arkansas, and has remained in a federal detention center in D.C. ever since.
He is due in court on May 4.