After a judge set extremely high bail for people arrested during a Black Lives Matter riot that broke out in Lancaster, Pa. earlier this week, a judge has reduced those bail amounts for nine out of 13 protesters who were facing multiple felony charges.
Lancaster Online reports that District Court Judge Bruce Roth initially set the bail for several protesters at $1 million, a move that Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called unconstitutional. Civil rights groups have called the bail amounts extreme.
The violence broke out on Sept. 3 after a Lancaster city police officer shot and killed 27-year-old Ricardo Muñoz during a domestic disturbance call. Muñoz’s body remained on the sidewalk for more than four hours during the subsequent investigation. Later the same night, the district attorney’s office posted body camera footage from the incident that showed Munoz running after the officer with what appeared to be a knife.
Munoz had been awaiting trial on allegations he stabbed four people last year.
Several of the protesters are facing charges of felony arson, riot and vandalism, among other counts, and while city police did not ask for the bail amount, public information officer Lt. Bill Hickey said the felony charges are considered in the judge’s decision.
Bail amounts were reviewed Sept. 17 at the Lancaster County Courthouse after five protesters petitioned for a lower bail. Defense attorneys and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office helped the judge come to a conclusion for the new bail amounts, Roth said. Along with bail restrictions, the protesters who are released are not allowed to be within a block of the Lancaster city police station for anything other than legitimate reasons, the judges ruled.