As the siege of the Capitol, egged on by President Donald Trump, was unfolding last week, observers noticed something that made the scene even more disturbing: A Capitol police officer talking a selfie with the violent insurrectionists.
Not only did the officer’s friendliness with the seditionists highlight the stark contrast between the police’s response to far-right agitation that day versus peaceful Black Lives Matter protests during the summer, it also raised alarms that at least some of the police openly welcomed the deadly invasion.
Those concerns have been heightened by revelations that several cops across the country allegedly participated in the violence or at least sympathized with the rage that inspired it by attending Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally.
More than a dozen officers are being investigated, including:
Two Officers From The Rocky Mount Police Department in Virginia
RMPD Sergeant Thomas Robertson and officer Jacob Fracker were arrested this week after the selfies they took at the Capitol went viral.
Tonight on @ABC13News we are hearing from one of the Rocky Mount officers on leave following a picture that went viral showing him inside the Capitol. He confirms they were inside- but says people have it all wrong associating them with the violence that took place. pic.twitter.com/XbUfOrQyJI
— Maggi Marshall (@MaggiABC13) January 12, 2021
Prior to their arrest, the two officers had openly bragged about their participation in the insurrection on social media. Screenshots taken by local outlet 10 News show Robertson declaring he was “PROUD” of being in the photo with Fracker, who mocked critics in a post of his own.
“Lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around… Sorry I hate freedom?…Not like I did anything illegal,” Fracker wrote.
The Justice Department has charged them with violent entry on Capitol grounds and unlawfully entering restricted areas. Robertson told ABC 13 that the Capitol police had allowed them into the building.
At Least 12 US Capitol Police Officers
Two Capitol police officers have been suspended, one of whom posed for selfies with the attackers:
Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists. pic.twitter.com/EjkQ83h1p2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 6, 2021
The other officer allegedly put on a “Make America Great Again” hat and gave some of the rioters directions inside the building, according to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), the chair of the House subcommittee investigating the riot.
At least 10 others are under investigation for their conduct during the riots, Ryan told reporters on Monday. Law enforcement has not reported specific details of the officers’ alleged offenses.
The Capitol Police inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have opened investigations.
A Houston Police Officer In Texas
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announced on Wednesday that one of his officers had traveled to D.C. and “penetrated” the Capitol building during the siege. The officer resigned on Thursday and is now under criminal investigation by his now-former department, the FBI, and the Justice Department.
Seven SEPTA Transit Officials In Pennsylvania
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is investigating seven of its officers who allegedly attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally, which preceded the assault on the Capitol. The agency has not reported evidence that they were part of the violent mob, however.
A Philly Detective
Jennifer Gugger, a detective for the Philadelphia Police Department, is the subject of an internal investigation after she allegedly posted photos of herself at the “Stop the Steal” rally. Like with the SEPTA officers, it is not yet known whether she forced her way into the Capitol.
Gugger’s Facebook profile contained content in support of the bonkers pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has been reassigned from her former position as a recruiter for the department, which involved screening applicants’ social media activity.
Two Seattle Officers
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has opened an investigation into two officers who reportedly took selfies at the “Stop the Steal” rally. They are currently on administrative leave while the SPD’s accountability office investigates whether they participated in the insurrection.
A NYPD Officer
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea revealed earlier this week that there was an “active” investigation into an officer who may have been part of the mob. Shea declined to provide any more information on the matter.