Billy Knutson: Where is the Capital Rioter Now?

As someone who has been in and out of the prison system ever since he was an adolescent owing to the street lifestyle of drinking and violence, Billy Knutson has an unbelievably thick skin. After all, he’d reportedly made some tough decisions during his three terms, following which he actually managed to remain out of trouble for nearly a decade before January 6, 2021, rolled around. That’s when this Mason City, Iowa, native just had to make his way to Washington DC and rally under the belief the 2020 presidential elections were stolen from Donald Trump via voter fraud.

Billy honestly hadn’t expected this protest to turn into a riot that would involve the Capitol being stormed, but he did participate by crawling in through a broken window and recording everything. The truth is there was initially no criminal complaint against him since he hadn’t once resorted to any act of violence or aggressively engaged with local officials during his hours inside the Capitol. But alas, everything turned upside down once he utilized the footage he’d documented in his music videos — as Playboy the Beast, he’s a rapper whose art usually centers around his political beliefs.

It was on January 10, 2022, that an official federal complaint against Billy was filed, only for him to be arrested from his Mitchell, South Dakota, home a mere two days later on four different counts. They were disruptive conduct in a restricted area, disorderly conduct in the Capitol, entering or remaining on government grounds without clearance, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol. In the end, though, on April 13, 2022, Billy pleaded guilty to just one count, for which he received six months in prison, one year of supervised release, plus $500 in restitution on August 26.

Billy Knutson is Now Back With His Family

Therefore, today, at the age of 38, Billy is back home with his loving wife and their four adorable children — he was released from federal custody on March 31, 2023, exactly as his plea agreement specified. Since then, from what we can tell, his focus remains his family, his music, his role as a Proud Boys member (a far-right, neo-fascist militant group he joined following January 6), plus his work at Street Soldiers Entertainment. It’s also imperative to note that he doesn’t think his rap or the Proud Boys promote hate speech in any manner; he believes they simply encourage free speech.

As for the reason Billy joined Proud Boys in the first place, he revealed in HBO’s ‘The Insurrectionist Next Door,’ “I’d been interested [for a while]. I’d seen we share a lot of the same beliefs. A lot of the guys are like me and rough around the edges. It’s not like a PG group. It’s not anything soft. So, I was drawn to that and the brotherhood [they offered].”

Billy then added, “If they knew what Proud Boys was, they would not be offended whatsoever. It’s definitely not [a hate group]. It’s a love group, if anything. Like, literally, where we’re at right now, this is called the Bro Love State. In South Dakota, these guys don’t even really get involved in rallies or anything like that. It’s just about brotherly love. All it is is a brotherhood; men’s drinking club.”

Read More: Emily Hernandez: What Happened to the January 6th Rioter?