Man sentenced for conspiracy to commit arson in connection with fire at East Precinct

An Alaska man was sentenced to 20 months in prison for conspiracy to commit arson in connection with an August 2020 fire at Seattle’s East Precinct, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

>> SPD: Rioters tried to trap officers inside burning precinct using rebar and concrete

Desmond David-Pitts, 20, was arrested shortly after the fire he set Aug. 24 at the precinct, according to a release from the DOJ.

According to court documents, David-Pitts arrived in Seattle three days before the fire. He marched with protesters in downtown Seattle before going to the precinct.

Surveillance video shows David-Pitts piling up trash outside a door of the precinct and lighting it on fire over an 11-minute period, court documents say. The fire was later put out by Seattle fire and police departments.

He was identified and arrested less than an hour later in the crowd outside the precinct because of the pink camouflage trousers he was wearing in the video.

The U.S. District Court judge at the sentencing noted the danger the fire posed to SPD officers who could have been trapped inside the building.

“A handful of people bent on destruction, by committing arson and threatening the safety of our community, also drowned out the important message of those who peacefully protest injustice,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

David-Pitts agreed to pay restitution to SPD for damage to the building in addition to his sentence.

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