Off-duty LEOs involved in DC rally face investigation
Agencies are determining if off-duty officers who traveled to DC played a role in the violent Capitol siege
By Suzie Ziegler
WASHINGTON — Off-duty police officers from as far away as Seattle traveled to attend the massive pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 that ended in a violent siege of the Capitol building. Now, police departments across the country are working to determine if their officers should face discipline based on the extent of their role in the events.
Among the officers under investigation include a Philadelphia police detective, two Seattle police officers and a Texas sheriff’s deputy who are believed to have attended the rally; two Virginia police officers who took photos from inside the Capitol building; and Oakland police officers who allegedly endorsed the takeover on social media.
The Philadelphia detective was temporarily reassigned after supervisors received a tip that they had been in D.C. during the siege, according to the The Philadelphia Inquirer. The detective posted photos to Facebook appearing to show the rally.
The two Seattle police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, according to The Seattle Times. Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has said that he will fire the officers if a review board finds that the officers were directly involved in the violence.
Two Virginia cops with the Rocky Mount Police Department have been placed on administrative leave after a photo of them inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6 surfaced and went viral.
Officers Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson appeared to identify themselves as the men in the photo, which was obtained as a screenshot by WSLS. Robertson told WSLS that neither of them participated in the violence.
In Oakland, California, police pledged to investigate allegations that officers had endorsed the siege or “been involved” with social media accounts related to the Jan. 6 events.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the agency learned that "current employees may have been involved on social media accounts that contain objectionable or offensive content."
"Hate speech will not be tolerated. Whether on or off duty, employees of OPD are prohibited from affiliating with subversive groups,” agency said in a statement posted to Facebook.
A Texas sheriff’s lieutenant was already on administrative leave due to a separate investigation when supervisors learned she had been in D.C. during the rally. The lieutenant posted photographs on Facebook showing her near the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to KSAT.