A federal judge invoked Anthony Bourdain when shooting down an accused Capitol rioter's request to have his trial moved out of DC

·3 min read
Chef/TV personality Anthony Bourdain
Chef/TV personality Anthony Bourdain arrives at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  • A DC district judge denied a Proud Boy member's request to move his trial in connection with the Capitol riot.

  • Gabriel Garcia motioned in April to move his trial from DC to Florida, citing "an extreme level of prejudice" against Jan. 6 defendants.

  • In an opinion denying his motion, a federal judge cited a quote from the late iconic chef Anthony Bourdain.

A federal judge cited a quote by the late iconic chef Anthony Bourdain in a ruling rejecting an accused Capitol rioter's request to move his trial out of Washington, DC.

Former US Army captain Gabriel Garcia, who is a member of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys, was arrested on January 21, 2021, in connection with the attack on January 6, 2021, after the FBI said he uploaded live footage of himself saying he had just "stormed" the Capitol. He faces charges of violent entry and civil disorder.

Garcia was granted pretrial release last year on the conditions of being subject to curfew and fitted with an ankle monitor.

In an April filing, Garcia requested to change the venue of his trial to the Southern District of Florida, citing "an extreme level of prejudice exists in DC for January 6 Proud Boys defendants, like him."

"Regrettably, in such a historic prosecution, any conviction of a Proud Boy or Oath Keeper by a D.C. jury will forever be tainted, questioned, and held to ridicule as vigilante-like justice, reeking of political comeuppance," his motion said, per a report by CBS News.

The accused Florida Proud Boy, who pleaded not guilty to all six federal charges, included online surveys that he claimed upheld his motion. He also claimed jurors in DC are "friendly" to prosecutors.

On Friday, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied his request, starting her 32-page written opinion with a quote made by Bourdain during an episode his show, "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations," filmed in the nation's capital.

"DC is not just a city of dead presidents and cold marble monuments," Bourdain said. "The people we see working here on our television screens, in the halls of power, and the plush seats of Sunday morning punditry, often have as little to do with the city itself, and the people who actually live here, as any creatures from another universe."

The iconic TV personality added: "This is a city filled with actual living, breathing, eating Americans. Not vessels for one ideology or another, empty suits and empty ideas. Hard lives, hard struggles, and long roads to get here."

Jackson also noted that Garcia's motion to move his trial was "largely predicated on sweeping, unsupported assertions about a city he does not appear to know or understand."

"None of the surveys support an assumption that any prejudice against this individual defendant is so great that he cannot receive a fair trial in this district; despite his grandiose claims, there is little evidence that D.C. residents know who he is at all," the federal judge said.

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