Riley Dowell, a biological male who identifies as non-binary and refers to themselves as the “daughter” of Massachusetts Democratic Representative Katherine Clark, was arrested in January following a violent anti-police rally in Boston. After three months, Dowell, formerly known as Jared, has been released and given a one-year probation sentence. The resolution of the case depends on Dowell completing 30 hours of community service, writing an apology letter to the officer, and reimbursing the city for graffiti cleanup expenses.
Representative Clark has publicly supported Dowell, describing them as her daughter and expressing love during this challenging time. The incident leading to the arrest occurred near the Parkman Bandstand Monument when Dowell was caught spray-painting messages such as “NO COP CITY” and “ACAB” (an anti-police acronym) on the monument. During the arrest, a group of approximately 20 protesters surrounded officers and caused traffic disruptions. One officer was hit in the face and sustained injuries.
Dowell faced charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, destruction or injury of personal property, and property damage through graffiti. The protest in Boston was in solidarity with a similar demonstration in Atlanta, where left-wing activists set a police car on fire and vandalized businesses. It is worth noting that Representative Clark herself was previously arrested during an anti-abortion protest in Washington, D.C., for refusing to cease blocking a street outside the Supreme Court building.
The case involving Riley Dowell highlights the complex intersection of personal identity, activism, and legal consequences.