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3 plead guilty to burning Las Vegas police SUV amid 2020 protest

Las Vegas George Floyd
AP Photo/John Locher
Police officers watch people protesting the death of George Floyd, on Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas, Friday, May 29, 2020.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Three men have pleaded guilty to reduced federal charges in Las Vegas, admitting that they set fire to a police vehicle during a May 2020 racial injustice protest in the days following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Tyree Walker, 23, Devarian Haynes, 23, and Ricardo Densmore, 24, will each face two years in federal prison, three years of federal supervision following their release, 100 hours of community service and a $100 fine, according to plea agreements filed this week in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

Each had faced conspiracy and arson charges in a four-count indictment filed in June 2020 that could have gotten them five to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

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Each pleaded guilty to one count of civil disorder and remained free Friday on supervised release pending sentencing June 22 before U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon, records showed.

Attorneys for the three men did not immediately respond to email messages about the pleas. Walker appeared in court Monday, Haynes entered his plea Tuesday and Densmore pleaded guilty Thursday.

Densmore recorded and posted video on social media showing Haynes pouring a flammable liquid from a fuel can through a missing window of a marked police patrol SUV, Walker dropping a flaming paper object inside, and Haynes dropping the gas can into the vehicle, according to an affidavit filed by a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent.

After arrests and during questioning, each man admitted his participation with the other two, according to the affidavit.

The early May 31, 2020, incident occurred during more than a week of racial injustice protests that sometimes drew thousands of people in downtown Las Vegas, on the resort-lined Strip — which was nearly deserted following closures due to the coronavirus pandemic — and in other Nevada cities.

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Some protesters threw rocks and bottles, police used tear gas, several injuries were reported, some downtown Las Vegas businesses were vandalized and police made dozens of arrests.

On June 2, 2020, an armed man was shot and killed by Las Vegas police after a crowd was ordered to disperse near the Las Vegas federal courthouse, and a Las Vegas police officer was wounded and left paralyzed in a shooting during a separate protest near a Strip hotel-casino.