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Tacoma woman pleads guilty to torching Seattle police cars during May 2020 protest

Videos captured Margaret Channon setting multiple police cars on fire during a protest in downtown Seattle in May 2020.

Editor’s note: The video above originally aired in June 2020 after Margaret Channon was arrested for setting five police vehicles on fire during a protest in downtown Seattle.

SEATTLE – A 26-year-old Tacoma woman has pleaded guilty to torching five Seattle police vehicles during racial justice protests and rioting that followed the killing of George Floyd last year.

Margaret Channon was arrested nearly two weeks after she was caught on videos using fire and aerosol cans to light the police vehicles on fire in downtown Seattle on May 30, 2020.

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According to the plea agreement, Channon also acknowledged she smashed a window at a Verizon store and an electronic cash register at a sandwich shop.

Federal investigators were able to identify Channon and track her down based on her clothing and unique hand tattoos seen in videos from the protest. Some of the tattoos linked Channon to a missing person report in Texas in 2019. Ultimately, investigators said they uncovered her various social media accounts, which helped confirm her identity.

Investigators executed a search warrant at Channon’s Tacoma home in June 2020 and seized clothing and accessories that appear in some of the videos from the arsons, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington said.

Arson charges carry a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison. Channon’s attorneys and the government agreed to recommend a five-year prison term when she is sentenced in January 2022.

Final sentencing will be up to U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour.

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