Woman gets 2.5 years in police car fires amid 2020 protest

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A woman who pleaded guilty to torching police cars amid the 2020 racial justice protests in Philadelphia has been sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that since Lore-Elizabeth Blumenthal, 35, of Jenkintown, has been in custody since her arrest two years ago, she could be released within months.

Blumenthal pleaded guilty to two counts of obstructing law enforcement during a civil disturbance related to throwing a piece of burning police barrier at a police cruiser. Police used photos from the protest and social media profiles to find Blumenthal, who was wearing a distinctive shirt that investigators found on Etsy and had a recognizable tattoo.

Blumenthal admitted in court Thursday that the fires were recklessly endangering the lives of other protesters. She said she was drugged and filled with fear and rage after the death of George Floyd and the economic uncertainty produced by the coronavirus pandemic.

“My drug addiction has left me feeling completely self-righteous and impervious to criticism,” Blumenthal told the judge, the Inquirer reported. “I channeled all my outrage and grief into the police, and I wish I hadn’t and had the coping and self-de-escalation skills that I have today.”

US District Judge Barclay Surrick cited Blumenthal’s 25 months behind bars and said he believed she had ‘learned her lesson’ but that it was important to ‘dissuade others from getting involved’ in this activity.

Ayoub Tabri, 25, was sentenced earlier this month to 364 days behind bars – less time than he had already served in custody, and short enough to avoid triggering deportation proceedings for him. Moroccan immigrant. Four other people are awaiting trial or sentencing.

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