KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court in March to throwing Molotov cocktails at the local congressional office of U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II. On Tuesday, June 28, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole.
Eric G. King, 29, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty to the charge of using explosive materials to commit arson. He was indicted on Oct. 7, 2014.
Detectives say it was King who, on Sept. 11, 2014, at 2:52 a.m., broke a window into Cleaver's congressional office located at 101 W. 31st Street, by throwing a hammer through it. He then threw two Molotov cocktails toward the broken window. One bounced off the side of the building. The second went through the window into the office that was unoccupied at the time.
Detectives with the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department were already investigating King in connection with a series of anti-government related incidents of vandalism in the immediate vicinity of the congressional office a few days earlier. Those incidents occurred over the Labor Day weekend in 2014 and involved the spray painting of anti-government/anarchy graffiti. One of the incidents was at a Bank of America, from which investigators obtained video surveillance footage that showed King spray painting the bank.
Investigators monitored King's social media posts* and found activity that led to his arrest as he was leaving his apartment on Sept. 16, 2014. When officers opened the backpack King was carrying at the time, they found a can of red spray paint, Kingsford Charcoal Lighter fluid, and a clear plastic soda bottle (containing a clear liquid) with a tube sock placed over it.
Officers searched King’s apartment and found a hand-written letter entitled “Operation House Committee.” The letter, in part, was a list that contained the following: “(1) Paint thinner/alcohol, (2) face cover/hand cover/all tattoos covered, (3) Three bottles glass, (4) paper towels, old rags/lighter, (5) drive/driver, must be someone trust with.” The letter then mentioned the steps to light the devices, then said to “use hammer/sledgehammer to break door,” “light bottles, throw them, light curtains,” and repeat these steps on “government buildings, all things police, certain law firms, corporations…” The first part of the backside of the letter read, “The arsons committed on Sept 11, 2014 were committed solely by the KC FIGHT BACK Insurrectionist Collective.”
The Molotov cocktails recovered from the congressional office were analyzed by the ATF crime lab. King’s DNA matched the DNA found on both the wick and bottle.
According to prosecutors, King's social media posts included:
Post on Sept. 3, 2014, that read:
“KC Fight Back celebrated its first labor day with a lovely variety of action, action and more action against a series of government and Financial properties.”
“KC Fight Back Insurrectionist Collective is alive.”
“...these cops aren’t going to kill themselves, get to the streets.”
Post on Aug. 10, 2014:
“I want to leave kc better than I found or an ashes.”
And a social media post by King on the day before the congressional office was attacked:
“KC Fight Back has been in serious in its Insurrection activity, and that is the thing that is giving me the most pride in my life.”