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capitol riot aftermath

Ex-NYPD officer sentenced to 10 years in prison for Jan. 6 assault

Thomas Webster, a former New York Police Department officer, was sentenced on Thursday to 10 years in prison after being found guilty in May of assaulting a police officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

The 56-year-old received the longest sentence so far for any of the Jan. 6 defendants.

During Webster's trial, video was shown of him taking a metal flagpole and swinging it at Noah Rathbun, a Washington, D.C., police officer, before tackling him. Webster testified that he was acting in self defense against Rathbun. Judge Amit Mehta on Thursday called this claim "just not credible" and the testimony "utterly fanciful."

Before he was sentenced, Webster said he "failed to have the courage to contain" himself at the Capitol, and asked Mehta for "mercy." He added, "I can never look at my kids the same way again. The way they look at me, it's different now. ... I was their hero until Jan. 6." Rathbun was in the courtroom, and Webster turned to look at him and said he was sorry, CNN reports.

James Monroe, Webster's attorney, called his client's actions "seconds of stupidity," and said former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party turned Webster and "otherwise decent, law-abiding individuals ... against fellow Americans."