A man identified by authorities as a local leader of the Proud Boys extremist group in New Jersey pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, acknowledging in court that he shouted, “It’s go time, guys,” and, “Let’s go … let’s go,” as he and other rioters stormed into the building.
Shawn Price, now 28, who video recorded himself and others that afternoon, reveled in the mayhem as a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump violently breached the Capitol security lines while Congress was meeting to confirm the 2020 presidential election result, according to a statement of offense filed by prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Washington. In entering his plea, Price agreed that the statement was accurate.
“You … cowards,” he yelled along with profanity at officers who were using chemical irritants to try to stem the tide of rioters. In video clips that he later posted on Facebook, Price said: “They thought we couldn’t do it. They wanted to hold us back. Now look at this. … More tear gas. Going in the building. We’re going anyway.”
Price, of Rockaway Township, N.J., 25 miles northwest of Newark, was arrested in June 2021 and initially charged with six federal crimes. In March this year, he was charged in an indictment with three offenses. In return for pleading guilty to interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder — punishable by up to five years in prison — the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. agreed to move for dismissal of the remaining charges, both related to entering a restricted building.
Judge Carl J. Nichols scheduled sentencing for Feb. 9.
Prosecutors described Price as vice president of a local New Jersey chapter of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence. They said he traveled to Washington with 10 to 12 fellow chapter members and was among four or five who illegally entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds.
“Price filmed the scene of a confrontation with law enforcement officers taking place on the Lower West Terrace, using profanities as he screamed at the officers,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.
Price’s attorney, Harley D. Breite, said his client has recently worked in construction.
“He’s a hard-working young man,” Breite said in an interview after the plea hearing. “He’s a charitable young man. … He supports his mother. He’s expecting to become a father for the first time. He’s a young man who understands he made a mistake. And most importantly, he understands why he’ll never make it again.”
The government described him as determined to breach the Capitol and disrupt the congressional proceedings.
“While directly in front of the line of law enforcement officers that was blocking the entrance to the northern stairs of the west terrace of the U.S. Capitol building — the line of officers that was breached later that afternoon — Price said: ‘I didn’t get this far (inaudible). … Let’s go! Traitors. Traitors,’” according to the statement of offense.
“At some point while on the [Capitol’s] lower west terrace, Price put on a pair of goggles,” the statement says. About 1:45 p.m., he and other Proud Boys members “pushed with a group of individuals into a line of law enforcement officers that was attempting to restrain the crowd and to hold crowd-control barriers in place. The group that Price pushed with included individuals who grabbed and pushed into the crowd-control barriers.”
Price later said in a Facebook message: “ … me and 4 of my chapter brothers pushed that line and started it ourselves had to be done.” He added: “I led the storm … getting tear gassed pepper sprayed and shot with rubber bullets. … We did it bro. … Me and 3 others stormed it and no one else would until we started then everyone stormed.”
In what authorities have described as the most sprawling investigation in the Justice Department’s history, more than 880 people from across the country have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, the U.S. attorney’s office said. More than 270 people have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers.