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Philadelphia Woman Pleads Guilty In Connection To Setting Fire To Police Vehicles During George Floyd Protests

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia woman has pleaded guilty in connection to setting fire to two police vehicles during the civil unrest in the city almost two years ago.

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal wore a green prison jumpsuit inside the federal courthouse Wednesday as she admitted to her role in the torching.

She's been incarcerated since June 2020 and was arrested less than a month after the incident.

Federal prosecutors say Blumenthal is this masked woman throwing a piece of a flaming object at a police cruiser, following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

Blumenthal admitted to a federal judge Wednesday her role in the incident.

"Not arson, those arson counts will be dismissed," attorney Paul Hetznecker said.

Instead, Blumenthal's attorney says, as part of a deal with prosecutors, she has now pleaded guilty to lesser charges like interference with government officials.

"I think under the circumstances, in this case, it's an appropriate resolution," Hetznecker said.

Investigators initially identified Blumenthal after finding photos of the civil unrest on social media.

From there, authorities focused on a peace sign tattoo seen on her forearm. It matched with a tattoo of an online video of her, which revealed her name.

"It's a common investigative tool," Joe Sullivan said.

Sullivan is a former deputy commissioner in the Philadelphia Police Department and not affiliated with this case.

"We all have to keep in mind, when we go on social media, what we put out there for the public, anyone is allowed to view," Sullivan said.

He adds most of the protests were peaceful, but "there's a difference between protesting and civil disobedience."

Blumenthal is expected to have her sentencing in June.

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