‘Primary agitator’ gets 10 months
Damaged police car during peaceful rally
YOUNGSTOWN — A city man charged in municipal court with felony vandalism and misdemeanor obstructing official business in the May 31, 2020, Youngstown rally over the George Floyd killing was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison Thursday on a federal ammunition charge.
Ronald T. Green, 24, was charged with vandalism and obstructing because city police said he threw an object through the back window of a police car and then fled. It took place near the Choffin Career and Technical Center, where other acts of vandalism occurred during the protest. A police report called Green the “primary agitator” among a group of people trying to “make the protest violent.”
His vandalism and obstructing charges remain pending in municipal court. He was never arraigned because of his “unavailability,” according to court records.
Police said his ammunition charge, called being a “felon in possession of ammunition,” came about when a Youngstown police detective investigating Green for the rally vandalism discovered Facebook images showing Green with weapons and referred that information to federal investigators.
Green was not allowed to possess weapons because of a previous felony conviction.
Federal officials raided his Bruce Street home June 30, 2020, finding ammunition, leading to the ammunition charge.
According to federal court records, Judge Donald Nugent of U.S. District Court in Cleveland sentenced Green Thursday to 10 months in federal prison, but he gets credit for the time he has been detained in the Mahoning County jail awaiting disposition of the case. Green also was sentenced to three years of probation when he leaves prison.
He was booked Nov. 17, 2020, and has been in the jail since then, meaning he has spent about five months locked up.
Youngstown’s rally took place six days after black man George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by white police officer Derek Chauvin, who held Floyd down on the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin this week was convicted of three charges in Floyd’s killing and awaits sentencing.
A Youngstown police report discovered by The Vindicator months after the rally said two detective sergeants were near Choffin near some protestors. It was shortly after windows had been broken at the school.
“It appeared to me that the originally peaceful group was being hijacked by a few individuals who were attempting to make the protest violent,” detective Sgt. Mohammad Awad stated in the report.
Awad said the “primary agitator” appeared to be man wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, black shorts and tan shoes later identified as Green.
Awad and detective Sgt. Jerry Fullmer positioned their cruiser to block traffic when Green began to yell in the officers’ direction: “(Expletive) the police. We want to go where we want to go. Don’t (expletive) listen to them.”
A woman began to yell back at Green and others with him to leave the protest, Awad’s report states.
She told the protestors to continue downtown because Green and the people with him “want to break things.” Green became “even more agitated and yelled that he’s in control and to stop listening to the police,” Awad stated.
Green led a few other people to head west on Wood Street to the area directly behind the officers’ cruiser.
“We attempted to drive away but could not because of the protestors in front of the vehicle,” Awad stated. “It was at that time we heard a loud noise and could feel the vehicle shake. We finally were able to move our vehicle out of harm’s way and attempted to see who specifically caused the damage,” the report states.
Another officer relayed information over the police radio that the man wearing the red hooded sweatshirt, later identified as Green, threw an object through the rear windshield of the cruiser, breaking it.
Police officers and sheriff’s deputies moved in to make an arrest when Green took off his hooded sweatshirt and blended in with the crowd. Members of the protest “began to turn against him and pointed in his direction,” Awad stated.
“When we got close enough to make an arrest, he jumped off the side of the Wick Bridge and fled on foot” and was not captured, the report states.
The majority of the Youngstown protest that day was peaceful.