Woman gets probation in charges related to Lancaster protest disorder

A woman who was among a dozen people arrested during civil disorder that followed a fatal police shooting in September 2020 has been sentenced to 18 months on probation.

Kathryn Patterson, 23, was also fined and ordered to do 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty Thursday to charges related to failing to leave the area when ordered during the Lancaster demonstrations.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys acknowledged that Patterson, a Franklin & Marshal College student at the time, wasn’t among those who threw rocks and frozen water bottles at police during the protest around police headquarters in September 2020, LNP reported. She told the judge in a faltering voice that "I have a heart for justice and in the last 2 1/2 years I have really tried to show that." Her attorney said she had no idea the protests would turn violent.


Patterson pleaded guilty to failure to disperse, obstructing highways, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Felony charges were dropped by prosecutors. She is the last defendant to be convicted or enter a plea; several other defendants were convicted of riot.

The civil disorder in Lancaster, a diverse city of nearly 60,000 in the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country, came amid protests after a police officer shot and killed 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz, who had a hunting knife and was on bail awaiting trial in the stabbing of four people the previous year. Prosecutors later ruled the shooting justified.