Police officers pepper spray protesters at the inauguration protests on January 20, 2017. Photo by ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images
Prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff owns a singular distinction: She’s the only Assistant United States Attorney to have a punk album named for her—Now That’s What I Call Kerkhophony V.1.
Kerkhoff earned that distinction from being the prosecutor in charge of the J20 trials—the series of proceedings that will decide the fate of dozens of demonstrators arrested during protests of Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017. Nearly 200 people were charged with felony riot and destruction of property, charges that carried up to 60 years of prison time—even though in many cases, there seemed to be no evidence that individual protesters had actually damaged any property. As The Nation put it last year, “merely being at the protest was a crime.”