Democratic House whip’s daughter arraigned on assault charge

BOSTON (AP) — The daughter of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark flailed her arms and struck a police officer trying to arrest her for defacing a bandstand in Boston with anti-police slogans over the weekend, a prosecutor said at her arraignment Monday.

Riley Dowell, 23, of Melrose, was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery on a police officer, vandalizing property, tagging property, vandalizing a historic marker/monument, and resisting arrest. Police also found a spray paint can in her backpack and saw paint on her hands and jacket, prosecutors said.

Not guilty pleas were entered on Dowell’s behalf and she was released on the $500 bail she posted after her arrest Saturday.

Neither Dowell nor her attorney commented outside of court.

Clark, the House Democratic whip, has spoken publicly previously about her concern for Dowell, who is nonbinary, amid bigotry targeting transgender people.

“I love Riley, and this is a very difficult time in the cycle of joy and pain in parenting,” Clark tweeted over the weekend in regard to Dowell’s arrest. “This will be evaluated by the legal system, and I am confident in that process.”

Dowell is due back in court on April 19.

Officers responding Saturday night to a report of a protest at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common saw a person whom they later identified as Dowell spray-painting the monument with the words “NO COP CITY” and “ACAB,” police said in a statement posted on the department’s website. “ACAB” is an acronym for a vulgar anti-police phrase.

During the arrest, “a group of about 20 protesters began to surround officers while screaming profanities though megaphones on the public street causing traffic to come to a standstill,” police said, adding that “an officer was hit in the face and could be seen bleeding from the nose and mouth.”

Clark is in her sixth term in the House and represents the state’s 5th Congressional District.

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