Joshua Black

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Joshua Matthew Black (born c. 1976) is the owner of a lawn service in Leeds who was convicted on 5 criminal counts relating to his actions at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Black drove to Washington D.C. from Alabama on January 5, 2021 in order to participate in the "Stop the Steal" rally promoted by President Donald Trump in protest of that day's joint Congressional session to certify Joe Biden's majority of electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. He made the trip alone, but accepted an invitation from a fellow protester to spend the night.

When it became clear to protesters on the afternoon of January 6 that Vice President Michael Pence had not, as they hoped, intervened to overturn the electoral vote during joint session, a large segment of the crowd broke through a series of barriers and entered the Capitol building. Black, who carried a knife on his belt, joined the mob, saying that his goal was to, "get inside the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus over it." He said that when he found himself outside the Senate chamber, he felt led to make his plea in that room. Black was seen in widely-circulated video from the attempted insurrection, bleeding from a wound on his cheek and conferring with another man, identified as retired Air Force office Larry Brock. In a video statement made later, Black stated that he had been injured by a projectile during the breach of the Capitol building and that though his mouth kept filling with blood, he refused medical treatment in order to remain with the insurrectionists, whom he considered "patriots".

Black made a call to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the next day confessing breaking into the Capitol and entering the Senate chamber. Though he did not identify himself, he called from his own telephone. Two other acquaintances of Black's also identified him from photographs and videos taken at the scene. Black was interviewed by an FBI special agent in Moody on January 8. During the voluntary interview he admitted being present in the Capitol and uploading videos to YouTube of his actions there. Based on evidence presented by the FBI, Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather issued a warrant for his arrest on January 13. Black was arrested the next day by U.S. Marshals, and held at the Pickens County Jail. A grand jury indicted him on eight federal counts of obstruction, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct on January 17.

At a preliminary hearing before Judge John England III of the Northern District of Alabama on January 20, Black's attorneys argued that he was not a member of a militia or extremist group, and that he had helped to keep peace while he was inside the Capitol, discouraging vandalism and violence by other protesters. Prosecutors argued that Black remained convinced that he was called by God to disrupt the actions of a government that he believed was corrupt, that he had in fact expressed the need for "an armed revolution", and that he remained a danger to the public. England ordered him held without bond, and he was subsequently transferred to a D.C. holding facility to stand trial there. He was released on bond on April 24, 2021.

In a bench trial held on January 13, 2023 Judge Amy Berman Jackson found Black guilty on three misdemeanor charges and two felony charges. She acquitted him on a single count of obstructing a congressional proceeding. In May Judge Jackson sentenced him to 22 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. He was credited for the time already served before trial.


  • Robinson, Carol (January 14, 2021) "Joshua Black, Alabama man seen breaching Capitol, said he was led by ‘spirit of God’." The Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (January 20, 2021) "Joshua Black, Alabama man arrested for storming Capitol, says he was shot in face defending police." The Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (March 19, 2021) "Alabama’s Capitol riot suspects: Where their cases stand." The Birmingham News
  • "Knife-wielding Alabama man shot in the face on Jan. 6 sentenced to prison." (May 16, 2023) Associated Press /