Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed two more rioting cases Tuesday, despite complaints he has excessively charged protesters to stifle the exercise of free speech at future demonstrations.
Aaron James Snyder, 35, of Oklahoma City, is accused of rioting with a large crowd of others May 30. Adion Mallett, 22, of Oklahoma City, is accused of rioting with a large crowd of others May 31.
Police reported Snyder punched an Oklahoma City police officer in the head multiple times when officers sought to detain him during a protest after being told he had assaulted someone. Police reported he also threw punches at other officers while rioters around them escalated the violence by throwing things and yelling profanities.
Police reported Mallett hit an Oklahoma City police officer in the shoulder with a rock after a protest turned violent. Police also reported finding a loaded pistol on him when he was arrested.
He later admitted throwing rocks at officers but said he did not intend to hit them, according to a court affidavit. He told police he brought a gun for his protection in case of looting.
Prater has been both praised and criticized since charging three protesters Friday with terrorism, four with rioting and one with assault and battery upon a police officer. The decision to file those felony charges attracted national attention.
The harshest criticism has been directed at the terrorism charges filed over the burning of an Oklahoma County sheriff’s van and damage to an Oklahoma City bail bonds business.