Utah activist John Sullivan has been released from jail after his first appearance in court Friday afternoon.
The court banned recording audio or video for the hearing.
Sullivan was charged with criminal complaints in Washington, D.C., including:
- Violating restricted building or grounds
- Civil disorder
- Violent entry or disorderly conduct
The intense video of the U.S. Capitol riot filmed by Sullivan is not the only video posted to his company’s YouTube page.
The 27-year-old has spent the last six months working at his own company, Insurgence USA, but before his life as an activist, Sullivan was an athlete.
Videos of Sullivan speed skating and preparing for the Olympics are the first few clips on the Insurgence USA YouTube channel.
Scrolling back to 2016 on Sullivan’s Twitter page, pictures show an athlete running or biking.
Sullivan had a link to a GoFundMe for the PyeongChang Olympics where he raised nearly $3,000.
The young athlete was sponsored by a company called “Hue for Every Man” and was featured in an Uber commercial that has since been taken down.
Sullivan’s last post on Twitter for 2019, he wrote: “nobody likes to write about how they failed." The blog post he had linked to has since been deleted.
The athlete then became an activist.
“I believe that Black lives matter,” Sullivan said in a recorded cellphone video. “I’m not here to assert myself and my beliefs on other people. I just want to give people the footage.”
Yet, Black Lives Matter groups across the U.S. have posted to social media claiming Sullivan’s actions do not align with their beliefs.
Tyeise Bellamy, founder of Black Lives for Humanity in Utah, spoke with Sullivan often.
“He has culturally misappropriated this movement to benefit him financially,” Bellamy said.
Though Sullivan’s rhetoric had similarities with their movement, Bellamy said Sullivan went too far.
“He really does have a goal to be killed by one of these militias so that he can be a martyr,” said Bellamy.
After being arrested for his alleged part in organizing a protest in Provo in July that resulted in one person shot and wounded, Sullivan continued posting about organized protest on Insurgence USA’s Instagram page — a company Sullivan dedicated to “ending police brutality” and “unifying the nation.”
A judge Friday ordered Sullivan to be detained at his home while awaiting trial in D.C.
Included with this order, Sullivan must surrender his passport and is not allowed to travel outside of his home, except for a few things including education, employment, and lawyer visits.
Sullivan is also banned from using social media and working for his company.
Computer activities and internet use for Sullivan will be monitored as well.
Sullivan’s next virtual appearance is Jan. 22, where he will be tried in Washington D.C.