A Capitol rioter, who was photographed wearing a sweatshirt that read “Camp Auschwitz” on January 6, 2021, was sentenced to 75 days in prison by a federal judge on Thursday.

“January 6 wasn’t an ordinary violent riot,” U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols said. “It was one that interfered with the counting of electoral voters and interfered with the peaceful transition of power. The peaceful transition of power is what allows us to have a democracy.”

Robert Packer, a Virginia resident, declined to explain why he was wearing the sweatshirt with the offensive message.

“It seems to me that he wore that sweatshirt for a reason. We don’t know what the reason was that Mr. Packer hasn’t told us,” Nichols noted in the sentencing.


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When FBI officials questioned him, Packer said that he wore it because he was “cold.”

Packer’s defense team argued that while the message was offensive, his sentencing shouldn’t be influenced by what he wore under the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.

“If Mr. Packer had short hair, no beard, and was wearing a Nike shirt would he be viewed the same way?” Packer’s attorney, Stephen Brennwald asked.

Along with “Camp Auschwitz,” which was a Nazi concentration camp, the words “Work Brings Freedom” were written on the sweatshirt in a translation of what was written on the gates of Auschwitz. Over a million people, mostly Jews, were killed at the infamous concentration camp.

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