PHOENIX – A judge on Feb. 3 ordered corrections authorities to provide organic food to an Arizona man accused of participating in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns.
The order came after a lawyer for the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’ complained that his client had gone the past nine days without eating because organic food isn’t served at the Washington jail where he’s housed.
33-year-old Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, is in the custody of law enforcement following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He is accused of committing various offenses, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, and demonstrating in a Capitol building.
Chansley’s request for organic food denied by jail officials
Chansley’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, filed a petition with a court in Washington D.C. on Feb. 2 that his client needs to be given food, or be granted pre-trial release as an alternative.
Watkins says Chansley has lost 20 pounds since being transferred from Arizona to Washington last week.
According to court documents and exhibits obtained by FOX 10, Chansley made a written request for organic food on Jan. 27 due to him being a “shamanic practitioner.”
“I only eat traditional food that has been made by God. This means no GMOs, herbicides, pesticides or artificial preservatives or artificial colors,” read a portion of an inmate request slip that was included in court documents. Chansley noted in the same request slip that he has not eaten anything since the morning of Jan. 25.
“Going without food is stressful due to the way it affects my seratonin levels,” read another portion of the request slip. “I don’t mind fasting for a few days, but five days is the longest I have ever gone without food.”
Chansley noted in the request slip that he wants canned organic vegetables, canned wild-caught tuna, or organic canned soup.
Chansley’s requests for organic food were denied by officials with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, noting that he did not identify his faith or belief upon entering a DC DOC institution, and that the department’s Religious Services was “unable to find any religious merit pertaining to organic food or diet under Shamanism Practitioner.”
Chansley’s lawyer: Client is in declining health
According to court documents, Watkins claimed on Feb. 1 that Chansley has gone without food for seven days or more, a claim that was disputed by a lawyer with the D.C. Department of Corrections.
“Based on information and belief, your client has eaten since being placed in DOC’s custody,” read an email sent by Eric S. Glover.
In court documents filed on Feb. 3, Watkins noted that Chansley’s physical condition is declining.
Federal prosecutor opposes release from jail
In court documents filed by Federal prosecutors, Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly L. Paschall opposed the motion for Chansley to be granted pre-trial release, arguing, in part, that Chansley is a “danger to the continued operation of the federal government, the law enforcement officers dedicated to protecting that governing, and to the community at large.”
“This defendant was part of a group of highly visible rioters who argued with police officer attempting to protect the seat of the federal government. The defendant made himself the symbol of a radicalized insurrection movement, and has professed his intent to act in the future as he did at the Capitol on January 6. Employment conditions, travel restrictions, and a reporting requirement will not mitigate the danger that he will do so,” read a portion of court documents.
Others unusual requests by those arrested in connection with Capitol Riot
Chansley’s bid for organic food isn’t the first unusual request made by people who were charged in the riot.
Lawyers for Jenny Cudd, a florist and former mayoral candidate in the oil patch city of Midland, Texas, asked a judge for permission to take a four-day trip to Mexico’s Caribbean coast for a “work-related bonding retreat” with her colleagues and their spouses. They said the trip was prepaid and planned before the Capitol riot.
Cudd’s pretrial services officer didn’t object to the trip and prosecutors took no position on it, defense attorney Farheena Siddiqui wrote in the court filing. The judge has yet to rule on her request. Her lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
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