Project Description

The Prosecution Project (tPP) is a long-term, Open-Source Intelligence research platform tracking and providing an analysis of felony criminal cases involving illegal political violence occurring in the United States since 1990. 

Through identification, analysis, and assessment of thousands of cases, tPP seeks to identify correlations between who a defendant is, how they are charged and prosecuted, and other related factors, such as political ideology, religion, and the crime’s motive, means, target, and impact. The project explores defendant demographics, prosecutorial strategy and outcome, juridical rhetoric, and relevant laws dealing with hate crimes, civil rights violations, designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and material support, as well as assigned terrorism enhancements and the use of specialized motive-centric statutes. 

Every case included in the tPP dataset is validated through a decision tree. The dataset aims to be inclusive of all cases involving felony crimes with social-political motivation, as stated by the perpetrator, or labeled by official state bodies such as, but not limited to, law enforcement or federal government.

Each case is coded for 50 variables, associated with a set of primary sources, and triangulated via several secondary sources by an independent coding team. After the first round of dual coding, the case is checked by a senior member of the project team, and finally, validated by one of the tPP Auditors. The data generated is suitable for a patterned statistical analysis and the development of complex models to understand patterns, trends, and outliers. To learn more about tPP’s process, the information included in the dataset, and how many cases are in the tPP universe, please visit our “tPP Includes…” page.

tPP records a comprehensive account of modern political violence prosecutions through confirmed, verified, triangulated, and transparently-documented cases. The goal of tPP is to generate meaningful findings for scholars and policy makers, to create and publish a previously nonexistent database for public use, and to allow students to engage in research and acquire skills that are required for carrying out a long-term team project. The project is led by an Executive Director and Deputy Director, coordinated by a Leadership Team and its Directors, and informed by a National Advisory Board of noted scholars and researchers.

In the future, tPP aims to make all of its data available online, for free in an accessible format. We are currently exploring how to best design this system, but if you would like to inquire about accessing our data or reports, please get in touch.

tPP Publishes Data for Public Use

Since its inception in 2017, the Prosecution Project (tPP) has aimed to make all of its data available online, for free in an accessible format. tPP is excited to announce that our data is officially published to browse and download on our website here. The public can now access tPP’s unique set of data to supplement their own research and generate new findings.

Users are welcome to search tPP’s extensive database compiling criminal cases of political violence since 1990, including those from the Summer 2020 George Floyd Protests and the January 6th Capitol Siege. tPP’s published data consists of over 3,500 cases coded to completion for over 50 variables including date, location, ideological affiliation, criminal method, sentencing details, gender, race, religion, veteran status, citizenship, and more. Those navigating the data may use the features on our website to narrow their research to any one or number of these variables.

The cases in tPP’s public database have been researched by two coders, verified by a third coder, and are in the process of undergoing a final audit. Each case is cross-referenced with a series of court documents, newspaper accounts, and other sources. Whenever possible, tPP aims to add and code cases based on primary sources such as court documents and governmental reports and releases. When primary sources are unavailable, tPP uses triangulated secondary sources. Typically these secondary sources are news or academic articles.

This information is free to use but please credit the Prosecution Project | tPP Twitter.

If you have further questions about the data, or would like more information on the cases, their inclusion criteria, etc., get in touch.

Although our data is now public, tPP is still accepting Data Requests. Individuals interested in receiving tPP data, either in raw or analytical form, should fill out the form located here.

tPP Book Now Available for Order!

Prosecuting Political Violence
Collaborative Research and Method

Available for Order on Routledge and Amazon

Book Description

This volume uses a mixed methods approach to unpack the multidimensional realities of political violence and how these crimes are dealt with in the U.S. judicial system.

The work seeks to challenge the often-noted problems with mainstream terrorism research, namely an overreliance on secondary sources, a scarcity of statistical analyses, and a tendency for authors to not work collaboratively. This volume inverts these challenges, situating itself within primary-source materials, which are empirically studied through collaborative, inter-generational (statistical) analysis. Through a focused exploration of how these crimes are influenced by gender, ethnicity, ideology, tactical choice, geography, and citizenship, the chapters offered here represent scholarship from a pool of more than sixty authors. Utilizing a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including regression and other forms of statistical analysis, Grounded Theory, Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, and Discourse Analysis, the researchers in this book explore not only the subject of political violence and the law, but also the craft of research. In bringing together these emerging voices, this volume seeks to challenge expertism, while privileging the empirical.

This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism and political violence, criminology, and U.S. politics.

Prosecution Data: Capitol Siege of January 6, 2021

Updated: April 07, 2023

On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol building was breached by demonstrators as part of an attempt by supporters of President Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Over one hundred law enforcement officers and an unknown number of demonstrators were injured, and four demonstrators and one police officer were killed. Some notable inclusions in this dataset are Derrick Evans, a recently elected delegate from W. Virginia, Jake Angeli, a leader in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, Nick Ochs, who founded the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, and Klete Keller, the former USA swimmer and five-time Olympic medalist.

Just as we did during the George Floyd Uprising/Summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, we have worked to quickly track and investigate these cases, sharing the data transparently with journalists, policymakers, legal scholars and other academics, and social movement activists. In the immediate days after the Capitol attack, tPP fielded numerous calls from journalists and other investigators seeking this data, and we are pleased to share this information with the public.

This Capitol siege data set contains only cases of defendants who participated in the January 6, 2021 attack, and select additional cases wherein individuals were arrested prior to or after the siege for crimes directly relating to the day’s events.

For example, within this data set, we include the widely publicized case of Proud Boys leader Henry Tarrio, who was arrested two days before the siege after he arrived in Washington, D.C., allegedly as an event organizer, in possession of illegal firearm components.

In looking at our data, some may ask, ‘Why does the data set contain counter-protestor (i.e., anti-Trump, anti-fascist, Black Lives Matter) crimes mixed in with those from the attack on the Capitol building?’ Simply put, we seek to track all manners of political violence, regardless of ideology. Cases are eventually measured and coded on the basis of a defendants’ motive, ideology, methods, etc., but in establishing these cases for preliminary tracking, we are simply asserting that the crimes have:

  • a.) a socio-political motive, and/or,
  • b.) the federal government has labeled the crime ‘protest-related,’ ‘related to the civil disturbance,’ or through the use of other language which links the crime to the Capitol siege.

We will continue to add, investigate, and validate cases as information becomes available. Data are incomplete as details are still unfolding, but we have chosen to provide updates for others to build upon. Early coding may change as indictments are reviewed.

You can download the spreadsheet of 1076 cases here

(listing updated 04/07/23 @ 4:35pm EST)

This information is free to use, but please credit the Prosecution Project | tPP Twitter.

If you have further questions about the data or would like more information on the cases, their inclusion criteria, or to speak to a member of our team, get in touch.

Madison Weaver is the project manager for these cases and can be reached here.

Tracking federal and non-federal cases related to Summer-Fall protests, riots, & uprisings

Latest update: December 29, 2022

Original post: July 1, 2020

Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by Minneapolis police and the resulting waves of protests nationwide, tPP has fielded many requests to help provide a count of resulting felony cases. The early summer protests, riots, and sporadic uprisings resulted in over 10,000 arrests nationwide. The FBI later expanded that number to more than 13,600 (as of June 6, 2020). We have spoken with journalists, academic researchers, attorneys, community and prisoner support organizations, and many others.

tPP is focused on tracking felony cases of socio-political crime and violence, so many of these arrests likely fall within our project’s inclusion criteria. tPP tracks all types of ideological motives to study political violence. In this case, while the majority of cases are of demonstrators, some represent violence directed at demonstrators, or seemingly unrelated crimes described by State authorities (e.g., the DOJ, ATF) as ‘protest-related.’ Some of these cases will likely be excluded from our data set, but while they develop, we will continue to follow them. For example, we are including several federal cases where defendants are charged with only misdemeanors. Although this will disqualify them for later inclusion in the tPP dataset, we are including them to currently to assist those trying to track federal prosecutions.

Some have asked, ‘Why does the data set contain far-right crimes mixed in with those from demonstrators?’ Simply put, we seek to track all manners of political violence, regardless of ideology. Cases are eventually measured and coded on the basis of a defendants’ motive, ideology, etc., but in establishing these cases for preliminary tracking, we are simply asserting that the crimes have:

    • a.) a socio-political motive, and/or,
    • b.) the federal government has labeled the crime ‘protest-related,’ ‘related to the civil disturbance,’ ‘riot cases, (see below)’ or through the use of other language which links the crime to the protests.

Many of these cases were sourced from a series of releases provided by the DOJ and made available to tPP. Cases which qualify for inclusion will be evaluated by coding teams and completed for 50 variables, but in the mean time, we are sharing a partial data table of the federal arrests we are tracking. In December 2020, tPP began adding non-federal cases related to the Summer-Fall protests as well. 

Download spreadsheet of 1672 cases (including 369 federal)

(listing updated 12/29/22 @ 1:28pm EST)

Note: Some cases remain sealed and all are developing, and as a consequence, some early coding may change when final court documents are reviewed.

We will continue to update this list as information becomes available. This data is incomplete but provided for others to build upon.

This information is free to use but please credit the Prosecution Project | tPP Twitter. If you have further questions about the data, or would like more information on the cases, their inclusion criteria, etc., get in touch.

Data Requests

tPP is now accepting Data Requests!

Individuals interested in receiving tPP data, either in raw or analytical form, should fill out the form located here

If our Data Science team has any questions, you will receive a reply via email.

tPP in the News

24 August 2023 “A ‘lethal threat’: why the far right sees more scrutiny than the left” [Military Times] (Additional distribution by Yahoo News)

24 June 2023 “Alito said Dobbs would lower the temperature. Instead, it fanned the flames of abortion extremism” [Politico]

1 November 2022 “A first-of-its-kind database tracks threats against public officials” [Axios]

19 October 2022 “ADL and Princeton’s Bridging Divides Initiative Release New Report Tracking Threats and Harassment Against Local Officials” [Princeton University]

15 June 2022 “Jan. 6 Hearings Point Finger at Donald Trump. But Federal Prosecutors Haven’t Gone That Far” [The Intercept]

4 April 2022 “Rage from the right: Threats against lawmakers rise for the GOP, too” [The Christian Science Monitor]

20 January 2022 “The multilayered effort to steal the election on Jan. 6, 2021” [The Washington Post]

20 January 2022 “What’s Next for 40 Proud Boys Facing Jan. 6 Charges” [Vice News]

5 January 2022 “A Year After the Breach, Falsehoods About Jan. 6 Persist” [The New York Times]

3 January 2022 “Capitol Rioter Admits False Statements to FBI, But Prosecutors Haven’t Charged Him With a Felony” [The Intercept]

30 December 2021 “Anatomy of a death threat” [contributing data provider,  Reuters]

13 December 2021 “Pennsylvania Man Who Planted Explosives After BLM Protest Sentenced to Probation, Thanks to Judge Who Was Convinced ‘He Had a Breakdown’”[Yahoo News]

17 September 2021 “The role of physical threats in Trump’s domination of the GOP”[The Washington Post]

18 August 2021 “Biden is Expanding Trump’s War on ‘Domestic Violent Extremism’ — And It’s Sweeping Up Black People”[The Intercept]

14 May 2021 “Activists Push for Charges to be Dropped Against Demonstrators for Black Lives” [Truthout]

Latest Blogs

Student EntrIes

USA v. Hammoud et al: A Lesson on Auditing Group Cases

POSTED ON June 28, 2021

By Sara Godfrey

 Mohamad Youssef Hammoud was sentenced to 1,860 months in prison, constituting the first conviction under a 1996 federal law prohibiting aid to designated terrorist groups. Facing 155 years in prison on charges including, Trafficking Contraband Cigarettes (18:2342.f) […]

Student EntrIes

Tactic and Target Selection in White Supremacist versus Eco-Terrorist Organizations

POSTED ON June 7, 2021

By Izzy Bielamowicz

Without proper distinction between separate ideological affiliations, terrorism becomes an oversimplified subset of political violence. This lack of differentiation within the subject of terrorism runs the risk of creating a false synonymy between different groups. […]

Student EntrIes

What is Terrorism? The Defining Elements of an Evolving Concept

POSTED ON May 19, 2021

By Morgan Demboski

Government officials, law enforcement, and scholars have long struggled to come up with an internationally accepted definition of terrorism. Terrorism is a very ambiguous term; what is terrorism and who is a terrorist depends entirely on the subjective view of the definer.  […]

ON Findings

A Tweet as a Deadly Weapon: The State of Texas v. John Wayne Rivello

POSTED ON April 26, 2021

By Nitya Sunil

Last Spring semester, while working on coding cases, I came across a case with characteristics that would determine prosecution for many future cases. The State of Texas v. John Rayne Rivello determines whether a tweet, or any message-sending medium utilized on the Internet, can be considered as a deadly weapon if it inflicts harm on the recipient. […]

ON Findings

Locating Extremists Where They Strike: The Influence of Ideology and Geography on Terrorist Target Selection

POSTED ON April 19, 2021

By Isabel Bielamowicz and Kayla Groneck

This is a brief summary of a 14-week research project we designed and carried out, the purpose of which was to identify the relationships between geographic location, ideological affiliation, and physical target for cases of politically motivated violence coded in the tPP dataset.  […]