Woman gets 2 1/2 years for setting fire to police cars amid 2020 protest

Protesters march through Philadelphia following the death of George Floyd last summer.
Jack Tomczuk

A woman who pleaded guilty to setting fire to police cars amid the 2020 racial justice protests in Philadelphia has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that since 35-year-old Lore-Elizabeth Blumenthal of Jenkintown has been in custody since her arrest two years ago, she could be released in a matter of months.

Blumenthal pleaded guilty to two counts of obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder related to throwing a piece of burning police barrier at a police car. Police used photos from the protest and social media profiles to find Blumenthal, who was wearing a distinctive shirt investigators tracked down on Etsy and had a recognizable tattoo.

Blumenthal acknowledged in court Thursday that the fires recklessly put the lives of other demonstrators at risk. She said she had been high on drugs and filled with fear and rage following the death of George Floyd and the economic uncertainty produced by the coronavirus pandemic.

“My substance abuse left me feeling utterly self-righteous and impervious to critique,” Blumenthal told the judge, the Inquirer reported. “I channeled all of my outrage and grief into the police, and I wish I’d not done that and had had the coping skills and self-de-escalation I do today.”

U.S. District Judge Barclay Surrick cited Blumenthal’s 25 months behind bars and said he believed she had “learned her lesson,” but believed it was important to “deter others from getting involved in this activity.”

Ayoub Tabri, 25, was sentenced earlier this month to 364 days behind bars — less time than he had already served in custody, and short enough to avoid triggering deportation proceedings for the Moroccan immigrant. Four other people are awaiting trial or sentencing.

More from our Sister Sites