Police chief releases statement on Va. cops charged in Capitol siege

Two Rocky Mount police officers face charges stemming from their presence inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6

By Suzie Ziegler 

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. — The town of Rocky Mount, Virginia, was thrust into the national spotlight last week after two of its police officers were charged with crimes related to the Capitol attack. Officer Jacob Fracker and Sgt. Thomas Robertson posted photos inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, but maintain they weren’t involved in any violence, according to The Roanoke Times

Now, town officials are speaking out. Rocky Mount Chief of Police Ken Criner, Police Capt. Mark Lovern, and Town Manager James Ervin released a joint statement Thursday obtained by WFXR. The statement condemned unethical behavior and said the department will continue to investigate the situation. 

Read the full statement below: 

“First, the Rocky Mount Police Department takes this matter very seriously. The recent events that have taken place at our U.S. Capitol are tragic. We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day. 

“Our Town and our Police Department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behavior by anyone, including our officers and staff. To the families of those whose lives were taken too soon, and all those shaken by the events over the past week, we are mourning with you and actively working to do our part in helping federal investigators do their jobs. 

“Upon learning that two off-duty Rocky Mount police officers, Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, were in the Capitol Building on January 6, a report was filed by our department with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to launch a formal investigation in connection to the protest and riot that occurred and the presence of these individuals. Earlier this week, Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson were arrested by federal authorities and charged with one count each of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count each of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

“The incident is still unfolding as it is a complex investigation. We want to affirm that our department has and will continue to follow strict protocols for investigating and responding to allegations of officer misconduct. We understand that this process can seem frustrating from the outside, but we are committed to supporting a professional and thorough investigation to determine the facts. As more information becomes available, we will update the public.”

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