A Washington woman who set five police patrol cars on fire during the anti-police brutality protests in Seattle in 2020 has been sentenced to five years behind bars on Tuesday, March. 1.

On May. 30, 2020, days after George Floyd was summarily killed during a hostile arrest, his death kicking off nationwide outrage and protests, Margaret Aislinn Channon, 26, was recorded on a video using aerosol cans to light five Seattle Police Department vehicles on fire. She pleaded guilty to arson in September 2021 and was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday, March. 1, Daily News reported.

According to the Department of Justice, Channon also admitted to stealing clothes from nearby stores and smashing a window at a Verizon store, as well as forcibly entering a sandwich shop and destroying the cash register at the store.

Following the protests, an investigation into the incident was launched by the FBI, ATF, and Seattle police. The investigators identified the woman based on her clothing and tattoos seen in the video and from her social media accounts. She was arrested at her Tacoma residence on June 11, 2020. After the officers searched Channon's residence, they found clothing and accessories that appeared to be what she was wearing in some of the arson videos, and seized them as evidence, the News Tribune reported.

At her sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said that Channon's actions did “tremendous damage” to Black Lives Matter in Seattle. Meanwhile, the prosecutors added that hundreds of people were standing near the cars Channon burned and that all of them were in harm's way if one car had exploded.

Meanwhile, Channon’s attorneys said that her actions were a “seriously misguided attempt to effect positive change” and pointed out that she had been peacefully protesting before that night. They also included a photo of Channon that showed her protesting peacefully in downtown Seattle the day before she set fire to the police cars.

Even though the prosecutors offered Channon a lighter sentence if she pleaded guilty to conspiracy instead of arson, Channon said she wanted to take full responsibility and apologized for her actions.

"Black Lives Matter is an organization with leadership that does not condone illegal activity,” Channon wrote in a letter to the court.

“I apologize to the many workers and activists — who have given decades of their lives to building a countermeasure to police violence — that did not want to see fire,” she concluded.

A former NFL athlete has been charged with murder and tampering with evidence after he allegedly burned his girlfriend’s body after killing her last year. This is a representational image. PIXABAY

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