To accommodate a judicial order that he be fed an organic diet, the Phoenix man who took part in the raid of the U.S. Capitol wearing a fur hat with horns was moved Thursday to a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, that could give him his preferred food.
Jake Angeli was moved out of the D.C. Department of Corrections and booked into Alexandria Detention Center, according to a memorandum filed in federal court on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the jail said it was not certain if Angeli had eaten since being booked into the jail, but said food is typically available for incoming inmates who need sustenance. An attorney for Angeli said in court during a Wednesday hearing that his client had not eaten for nine days.
Angeli, a self-described shaman, had requested an all-organic diet from the D.C. facility in keeping with his shamanistic beliefs, but that jail denied the request, saying it could not find evidence that organic food was part of the shaman religion.
At protests and rallies, Angeli has worn an eye-catching outfit that he told The Arizona Republic in previous interviews was based on his shaman beliefs. That outfit included the animal fur hat and horns, face paint and the elaborate tattoos on his typically-bare chest.
It was how Angeli was dressed as he wandered through the Capitol Rotunda and the U.S. Senate chamber on Jan. 6, making him a widely-recognized face of that incursion, which led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
The storming of the U.S. Capitol delayed for hours the official certification of the Presidential election victory of Joe Biden and the defeat of Donald Trump.
Angeli was arrested by the FBI after returning to Phoenix. A grand jury seated in D.C. indicted him, under his legal name of Jacob Chansley, for six crimes, including two felonies. A judge ordered him held in custody pending trial.
Angeli, 33, was transferred to D.C. in late January. Two days after he checked into the facility, he filed an inmate request slip asking for an all-organic diet.
In his handwritten note, Angeli defined organic food as that which “has been made by God.” That meant, he said, nothing with artificial colors, preservatives or genetically modified organisms, otherwise known as GMO. He also said it was food grown without herbicides or pesticides.
“I am humbly requesting a few organic canned vegetables,” Angeli wrote, “canned tuna (wild caught) or organic canned soups.”
The chaplain of the D.C. jail denied the request for two reasons: Angeli did not identify himself as a shaman when being booked into the D.C. jail. And the religious services office was “unable to find any religious merit” showing that practitioners of shamanism need an organic diet.
But, after hearing arguments in a hearing Wednesday, Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that Angeli’s request be honored, saying that his refusal to eat for a week was evidence that he sincerely believed organic food was part of his religious beliefs.
Not giving him organic food “amounts to objective coercion as well, as it forces defendant to choose between starvation and consuming food that violates his beliefs,” the judge wrote in a formal ruling made public on Thursday.
An attorney for the D.C. facility, Chad Copeland, mentioned to the judge that the jail could not readily accommodate the request, as its food was provided by a contractor that could provide other types of specialized meals, but not organic ones.
The U.S. Marshal’s Service asked the Alexandria jail if it could accommodate it and, after checking with its food vendor, Aramark, it said it could, said Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.
Angeli was booked into the jail on Thursday.
That booking process included a photograph of Angeli, which was released to the Republic and other media outlets upon request. The Marshal’s Service did not release his mugshot previously, citing a policy that has those photos released only for law enforcement purposes, such as an inmate escaping and needing to be located.
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