Top House Dem addresses violence against police as nonbinary child pleads not guilty to assault on cops

The second highest-ranking House Democrat, Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., condemned violence against police after her adult child was arraigned Monday for allegedly assaulting a Boston police officer and spraying the moniker ACAB, or “All Cops Are B*******,” on public property.

“I condemn violence against everyone, whether that is against police or against community members as a result of any person or government entity,” Clark, the House Democratic Whip, told reporters outside at an unrelated event in a Boston suburb Monday afternoon,

Her comments came after her child, Riley Dowell, 23, of Melrose, was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Monday on charges of assault and battery on a police officer, vandalizing property, tagging property, vandalizing a historic marker/monument, and resisting arrest.


Riley Dowell, center, with an attorney, left and father, Rodney S. Dowell, right, waits during arraignment at Boston Municipal Court, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.
(David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)

“I am going to refer to my statements that I’ve already released on this,” Clark added at the Watertown, Mass., event, where the congresswoman appeared with other state and local officials to announce a sizeable federal grant for environmental efforts, including so-called “tree trenches.”

“I love all my children and Riley dearly. But this is a difficult time in that cycle of joy and pain of being a parent,” Clark added, according to The Herald. “I have full trust in the legal system. This case is before it, and I have confidence that there will be an equitable and fair outcome.”

Prosecutors said Dowell flailed their arms and struck a police officer trying to arrest them for defacing a bandstand in Boston with anti-police slogans over the weekend. They also noted police allegedly found a spray paint can in their backpack and saw paint on their hands and jacket, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks during a news conference on protecting women’s reproductive health care, Thursday, July 28, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

Not guilty pleas were entered on Dowell’s behalf, and they were released on the $500 bail they posted after the Saturday arrest. Neither Dowell nor an attorney commented outside of court, according to the AP. Photos showed Dowell sitting in court next to father Rodney Dowell.

Dowell is due back in court on April 19.

Clark has spoken publicly previously about her concern for Dowell, who identifies as nonbinary, amid what the representative and mother decried as “bigotry targeting transgender people.”

Riley Dowell is arraigned at Boston Municipal Court, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Dowell, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts was arrested during a protest Saturday night on Boston Common and later charged with assault after a police officer was injured.
(David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)

The House Democratic whip in December recalled Dowell “waking up with nightmares” over climate change.


The Herald reported that Dowell was identified in court documents with a given name, Jared.

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.

Fox News’ Houston Keene and The Associated Press contributed to this report.