TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two men who took part in protests against racial injustice in Trenton after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have been charged with trying to set a police vehicle on fire.
A federal criminal complaint released Thursday charged 20-year-old Killian Melecio of Columbus and 29-year-old Kadeem Dockery of Trenton with attempting to damage or destroy a vehicle used in interstate commerce and owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance.
The two charges each carry a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Authorities allege that during a May 31 protest, Dockery lit an explosive device and threw it through the open front driver’s side window of a Trenton Police Department vehicle.
Dockery then allegedly removed his shirt and gave it to Melecio, who tried to stuff it in the gas tank of the vehicle and ignite it. The U.S. attorney's office said authorities identified both men from video from a street camera and other images.
Both were arrested this week and made initial court appearances by video. Dockery was released, while Melecio was held pending a bail hearing, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Mark Davis, an attorney representing Melecio, said Thursday the video referred to by authorities “provides no material information about the identity of whoever was attempting to damage the Trenton police vehicle that day. So, as the defense, we’re eager to review this ‘street camera footage’ that, according to the government, captures Killian’s alleged involvement.”
An email message was left with Dockery's attorney.