Investigators from the FBI are looking into off-duty police officers and military members who are alleged to be involved with the pro-Trump riots at the Capitol in Washington DC.
A number of people, who currently still serve in law enforcement and the armed forces, have been placed on administrative leave, while an investigation is underway following the riots which led to the death of five people.
Police departments in Zelienople in Pennsylvania, Bexar County in Texas, and Seattle, Washington, are among those investigating its own officers, according to reports in the Washington Post.
One officer in question is Dave Ellis, a police chief in Troy, New Hampshire, who admitted he did attend the protests, however claims he left before violence ensued and the siege on the Capitol building took place.
‘That wasn’t the way to handle things, and I’ve said it before, you can’t solve things by violence,’ he told NHPR.
Ellis claims he saw that things were starting to turn sour, after the initial ‘Save America’ rally came to an end, heading back to catch a lift home to New Hampshire, as the crowd made its way towards Capitol Hill.
‘I witnessed the people harassing the riot police that were getting in their gear on Constitution Ave, as I’m walking back to get to the train station at Union Station. It was ridiculous, people were giving police such a hard time,’ he explained.
Richard Thackston, chairman of Troy’s Board of Selectmen, decided to support Ellis’ account of what happened, branding him an ‘honest, competent, hardworking public servant,’ adding that he didn’t believe he needed any sanctions for attending the rally.
Meanwhile, two police officers in Rocky Mount, Virginia, have been placed on leave while an investigation into their part in the riots is ongoing.
‘The Town of Rocky Mount fully supports all lawful expressions of freedom of speech and assembly by its employees but does not condone the unlawful acts that occurred that day,’ the police department said in a statement, as per Reuters.
The Justice Department has announced that a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel has surrendered to the FBI in Texas, and now faces charges related to trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Larry Brock went viral after he was photographed wearing a helmet and body armour, while holding plastic zip ties, in the Senate chamber.
‘Larry Rendell Brock, of Texas, was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Brock was arrested today in Texas,’ the department said in a statement.
‘It is alleged that Brock was identified as one of the individuals who unlawfully entered the US Capitol wearing a green helmet, green tactical vest with patches, black and camo jacket, and beige pants holding a white flex cuff, which is used by law enforcement to restrain and/or detain subjects.’
Five people died as a result of the riots, including a Capitol police officer, who succumbed to his injuries the following day, after being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher.
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