Racine Judge Sentences Floyd Arsonist to Six Years in Prison


A Racine County judge sentenced an arsonist to six years in prison who burned down buildings during the unrest following the death of George Floyd. Judge Robert Repischak said, “Racine don’t play.” Justin C. Hernandez committed the act of arson on May 31, 2020, when a protest in Racine turned into a riot with protesters throwing bricks and rocks at police officers.

Hernandez was arrested for the arson along with three others, whose trials are all scheduled for the month of December.

Repischak sentenced Hernandez to six years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release. Hernandez was one of the rioters arrested for the arson of the Thelma Orr Community Oriented Policing (COP) House.

Hernandez’s redacted recording reportedly shows the Orr House on fire while he said, “On the boss, jut lit that (expletive) on fire, (expletive) the police! We done burnt this (expletive) down (expletive). (Expletive) these (expletive)! On the boss let that (expletive) burn! We went in there and destroyed all that (expletive)!”

During the trial, Repishcak had strong words for Hernandez, saying.“You and your anarchist ilk decided to burn the house down — her house — the person who was dedicated to bettering the community, the community you don’t belong to.” He continued, “Well sir, you famed the flames of discontent and today you’re going to reap the whirlwind.”

The sentence given by the judge was longer than the recommended sentence from both the representative of the defendant and the prosecutor, who had agreed on a sentence of four years in prison and four years of supervised release.

District Attorney Patricia Hanson, who was present for the sentencing, said that while Racine does want to work to improve the justice system, “we do not welcome violence and I ask this court to send that message to anyone who would think otherwise in the future.”

Jeremy Samuels, who represented Hernandez, said “people were angry and when people are angry they make bad decisions.” He also disagreed with the characterization that Hernandez traveled “from Kenosha to cause trouble and cause destruction.”

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].



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