A white man who planted bombs in downtown Pittsburgh the day after a Black Lives Matter protest ended was just given probation by a judge.
You read that right. Michael Michanowicz pleaded guilty to planting the bombs in what is normally a crowded plaza in Pittsburgh, right outside of a tower that houses the headquarters of PNC Bank. But instead of hitting him with the roughly three-year sentence federal prosecutors wanted, U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose apparently bought his defense attorney’s claim that he was an addict in crisis and never meant for the actual bombs he left in public to hurt anybody.
From the Washington Post
The city was a tinder box that afternoon. Six days earlier, a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd, sparking protests around the country. The day before, one in Pittsburgh devolved into a riot. Dozens were arrested. City leaders imposed a curfew.
The next day, Michanowicz rode his bike to check out the aftermath. He wheeled himself to a plaza below a skyscraper in the heart of downtown, planted the backpack with the three bombs he’d made and left.
They never exploded, but prosecutors said they could have hurt or killed someone.
Police found the bombs the next morning, quickly homed in on Michanowicz as a suspect and arrested him, federal prosecutors said in court documents. He was indicted on charges of illegally possessing three destructive devices, to which he pleaded guilty in August. On Monday, facing a 10-year prison sentence, Michanowicz, 53, avoided more time behind bars, instead getting time served and three years’ probation. He has to serve the first six months under house arrest.
House arrest. Did we mention cops found more bomb-making supplies at his house after they arrested Michanowicz?
There’s a theme here. The would-be Pittsburgh bomber gets to chill on house arrest, but the local district attorney re-filed charges that had been dropped against BLM protesters earlier this year, right before a report came out about a Facebook group filled with local cops making racist and anti-BLM posts. Pittsburgh cops hopped out of an unmarked van and dragged a protester into it last August, just like unidentified federal agents did in Portland days earlier. Recall the St. Louis Ken and Karen who came outside to point guns at peaceful BLM protesters got pardoned by Missouri Gov. Kevin Strickland.
So what we’re learning is that—surprise!—you get a lot worse treatment by law enforcement if you’re part of a protest than you do if you’re a white guy who plants a bomb in the middle of a major city the day after one.