Federal prosecutors claim that Leo Brent Bozell IV participated in the riots in the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. The government said it identified him by his blue sweatshirt, which had the logo of a small Christian school in Pennsylvania that witnesses said his children attended. Hide U.S. Department of Justice caption
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Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of a prominent Conservative activist and media critic, was charged with his alleged involvement in the Capitol uprising.
In an affidavit filed in the case and kept under lock and key until Tuesday, an FBI special agent stated that Bozell could be seen in footage during the January 6 riots at the Capitol, including for a period on the floor of the USA Senate. At one point, Bozell allegedly went to the Senate Gallery and “moved a camera so the camera was pointing at the floor of the balcony area. This happened when protesters began to walk on the ground floor of the US Senate. The camera was unable to record protesters who entered the first floor of the US Senate Chamber. “
41-year-old Bozell is charged with disorderly behavior because he will knowingly enter or stay in a restricted building or site and obstruct an official trial. NPR was unable to reach Bozell by phone, and the court records do not yet contain any information on an attorney for Bozell.
His father, Leo Brent Bozell III, is the founder and president of the non-profit media research center, whose mission is to “expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the left: the national news media”. The organization runs the NewsBusters website, which is often used to accuse mainstream media organizations – including NPR – of liberal bias.
On the day of the Capitol Uprising, the elder Bozell said on Fox Business he condemned the violence but said, “This is an explosion of pent-up indignation from Central America.”
“They are angry that they believe this election was stolen,” he added. “I agree with them.”
The government’s case against the younger Bozell began after the FBI received tips from three people. These tipsters identified Bozell from videos of rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, in part because of the blue sweatshirt Bozell appeared to be wearing, including the logo for the Hershey Christian Academy, a private school in Pennsylvania. The school describes itself as a “small, Christ-centered school” and teaches through 10th grade according to its website.
A witness allegedly told the FBI that Bozell had children who attended school and was also the former girls basketball coach. Witnesses said he was nicknamed “Zeeker”.
In January, before Bozell was officially identified, the school said on Facebook, “Please understand that the person depicted in the photos is not a board member, employee or representative of the Hershey Christian Academy.”
Following the charges against Bozell, the school referred NPR to another January statement that said, “do”[es] did not condone “the behavior in January 6th footage which it described as” unacceptable “.
The school’s statement also said it had received threats that eventually forced them to close their doors. “Parents and teachers have unfortunately been forced to endure many terrorizing and threatening emails and harassing calls that have instilled fear in our community and led many parents to choose virtual learning rather than face-to-face learning,” the school said .
NPR also contacted the Media Research Center for comment. The organization referred NPR to an outside PR firm called Creative Response Concepts, which did not respond.
The elder Bozell continued to criticize media coverage of the Capitol uprising, including tweeting a blog post published the same day the charges against his son were overturned.
Emine Yücel from NPR contributed to this story.