States where the most Jan. 6 rioters were arrested
Leading up to the riot in which supporters of then-President Donald Trump attempted to storm the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, it had been clear to international and national intelligence and research institutions for years that right-wing extremism was on the rise in the country.
As far back as 2009, the Department of Homeland Security noted a cyclicality to the emergence of right-wing extremism, which was catalyzed in the 2000s by an economic downturn and the election of America’s first Black president. And indeed, the Center for Strategic and International Studies found in 2020 that right-wing terrorism had surpassed terrorism spawned from other ideologies at an alarming rate.
The CSIS defines right-wing terrorism as “the use or threat of violence by sub-national or non-state entities whose goals may include racial, ethnic, or religious supremacy; opposition to government authority; and the end of practices like abortion.”
Right-wing terrorism in the U.S. has found tragic, deadly, and racist expression in crimes such as the antisemitic mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh and the shooting that took the lives of nine Black worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. On the first day of the Biden administration in 2021, the White House officially listed domestic terrorism spawned from right-wing extremism as the main terrorist threat to the U.S.
As a singular event, the Jan. 6 riot was the culmination of years of political division and mounting activity and violence by right-wing extremists. To paint a picture of how widespread such activity has been across the U.S., Stacker investigated where the most Jan. 6 rioters were arrested using data from the Department of Justice.
An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 people entered the Capitol Building during the Jan. 6 riot. As of Feb. 16, 2023, the DOJ has charged 1,003 people in association with the riot, either for actions occurring that day or for having a connection to those who performed them. Of those, 518 have pleaded guilty, and 420 have been adjudicated and sentenced.
There are currently two states without any indicted Jan. 6 rioters—North Dakota and Wyoming—and there are 30 indicted people who have not been traced back to a particular state. The DOJ is still actively pursuing cases; full details on all current cases associated with the Capitol Siege are publicly available from a variety of sources.
States are ranked by the number of rioters arrested in that state; ties are broken by rioters per million state residents.
#1. Florida©FotosForTheFuture // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 91
- Rioters per million people: 4.1
Nicknamed “the cradle of the insurrection,” many rioters from Florida were heavily outfitted for combat and intended to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Home to more than one-third of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers charged for their involvement in the riot, most of Florida rests just over 1,000 miles from the Capitol. Of those arrested, particularly visible members of right-wing extremist movements included Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the Proud Boys, and Jonathan Pollock, a violent instigator during the riot, who is currently a federal fugitive.
#2. Texas©Roschetzky Photography // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 77
- Rioters per million people: 2.6
Providing the second-highest number of Jan. 6 rioters, Texas is also home to the highest number of Oath Keepers of any state, according to a report published by the ADL Center on Extremism. The group played a prominent role in the organization and escalation of the riot at the Capitol Building. The ADL report revealed that an alarming number of elected officials, law enforcement officers, and Texas military members appeared on the Oath Keeper member rolls they obtained.
©Sean Pavone // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 73
- Rioters per million people: 5.6
Going to Trump in 2016 by a margin of just 0.7% and to Biden by 1.2% in 2020, Pennsylvania’s high per capita rate of rioters reflects the highly fractious politics that have come to define the state. Contextualizing this divisiveness is the state’s population decline—it currently casts just half of the 38 electoral votes it was allocated a century ago. Given its close proximity to Washington D.C., transportation to the rally and riot would have been relatively easy—as current Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano has demonstrated.
#4. New York©GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 61
- Rioters per million people: 3.1
America’s fourth most populous state, New York contains the fourth-highest number of Oath Keeper members. An urban-rural divide dramatically defines the state’s political makeup. Highly populated and liberal urban areas dominate its federal politicians, and the more sparsely populated and less wealthy rural counties exert an outsized influence on local politics. Of the Jan. 6 rioters from the state, the majority were arrested in regions other than New York City.
- Number of rioters: 55
- Rioters per million people: 1.4
Though host to an overwhelmingly politically liberal climate, America’s most populous state California also contains the highest number of hate groups tracked by the SPLC, though at a low per capita rate. With nine chapters of the Proud Boys being monitored, the state has seen its fair share of conflict with the extremist hate group. Over 2,500 miles from Washington D.C., California is also home to the second-highest number of Oath Keeper members of any state.
- Number of rioters: 53
- Rioters per million people: 4.5
Just over six hours by car from the capitol, Ohio was the source of a relatively high number of Jan. 6 rioters per capita. J.R. Majewski, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the state, was present at that day’s rally, though did not participate in storming the Capitol. A self-professed believer in QAnon conspiracy theories, Majewski’s capture of the Republican nomination indicates the extent to which many residents in the state fell prey to falsehoods about the 2020 election.
- Number of rioters: 42
- Rioters per million people: 4.8
The high number of protestors from Virginia is undoubtedly due in part to the extreme proximity to Washington D.C. Having undergone a subtle leftward political shift in recent political cycles, Virginia’s politics were reshaped by the growth of urban centers like Richmond. This is a change that, as has been the case in many other states, led to a mounting dissatisfaction by predominantly white, rural voters.
#8. Illinois©DiegoMariottini // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 33
- Rioters per million people: 2.6
America’s sixth most populous state, Illinois’ comparatively sleepy political climate is mostly dominated by the densely liberal city of Chicago, though Republicans have continued to gain ground in its rural regions. Like many other northern industrial states, Illinois’ population has not kept pace with other, faster-growing areas, leading to a gradual decrease in its electoral college influence. Among the Illinois rioters charged was Thomas B. Adams Jr., who was found guilty of both felony and misdemeanor charges, despite his insistence that his purpose was to peacefully occupy the Capitol Building.
#9. Washington, D.C.©Sean Pavone // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 27
- Rioters per million people: 40.2
Only seven of the rioters arrested in the District of Columbia actually resided there. The majority of rioters arrested in D.C. were apprehended within days or months of the events of Jan. 6. The DOJ lists only two people as having been arrested on the 6th, and a total of 17 as having been arrested or charged on the same day. Damages to the Capitol Building from the riot ran around $2.7 million, and a 12-hour curfew was imposed on the city in the wake of the violence.
#10. Tennessee©Nolichuckyjake // Shutterstock
- Number of rioters: 27
- Rioters per million people: 3.8
Home to a continually high number of hate groups, a large percentage of the Jan. 6 rioters from Tennessee were identified by an online community operating on Twitter called the Sedition Hunters. Of the many infamous rioters from the state, Eric Munchel is notable as the rioter photographed dressed in all-black, carrying zip ties—a chilling symbol of the violent intents of many of the insurrectionists.