Prosecutors: Trial starts Monday for Cleveland man caught on camera destroying Colossal Cupcakes
T’Andre Buchanan, Jr. is charged with robbery and evidence tampering
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The federal court trial starts Monday for a Cleveland man who prosecutors say was caught on camera destroying Colossal Cupcakes during the chaos of the May 30 protests in downtown Cleveland.
In a statement to 19 News, Kelly Kandah, owner of Colossal Cupcakes said:
“The wait for this trial to begin doesn’t compare to the length of time my business, neighboring businesses and downtown Cleveland still has to get back to where we were prior to this unimaginable day. I was underinsured and emotionally unprepared for this type of disaster however, the damage extends beyond colossal cupcakes doors. I have faith in our justice system and that this trial will help to at least put some of the horror experienced that day, behind.”
Court records show T’Andre Buchanan, Jr. is charged with robbery and evidence tampering for actions he allegedly took on May 30, 2020 and the weeks following.
Buchanan pleaded not guilty in July of 2020 in a virtual court appearance before the Northern District of Ohio, according to the records.
Records show the evidence prosecutors are using against him include text messages and photographs. They also claim in the documents that Buchanan disposed of the clothing he wore during the alleged crimes.
These photos were entered into evidence by the prosecuting attorneys and allegedly show Buchanan smashing the front window of Colossal Cupcakes, located at 528 Euclid Ave.
Steven L. Bradley, the attorney representing Buchanan, shared this statement with 19 News.
“Mr. Buchanan attended what he expected to be a peaceful protest that unexpectedly turned into a riot when law enforcement escalated an already tense situation by launching pepper spray and other projectiles to include rubber bullets and flash grenades into a crowd of thousands of protesters. What followed was a riot that caused significant property damage throughout the City. While Mr. Buchanan did cause property damage to several businesses, he did not take any property from Colossal Cupcake or otherwise commit a robbery offense as alleged by the Government.”
Buchanan is one of many people accused by authorities of participating in criminal behavior during the George Floyd protests in Cleveland, the impacts of which continued for months.
A statement sent to 19 News by the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, in part:
“There were numerous photos of individuals engaging in criminal activity disseminated to the public by law enforcement to assist with identification. The majority of those individuals identified that were engaging in criminal activity were charged at the local level. The circumstances surrounding T’Andre Buchanan met the requirements for federal charges.”
The jury trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Cameras are not allowed in the courtroom.
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