2 Virginia police officers face federal charges in Capitol riots
Two police officers in Rocky Mount, Virginia, face charges in storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Sergeant Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker were charged with illegal entry into a restricted area, as well as violent entry and disorderly behavior on the Capitol grounds.
According to a criminal complaint, Robertson and Fracker were photographed in front of a statute in the Capitol, with one pointing and the other making an obscene gesture. At the time of the uprising, the two were off duty from work as police officers with the Rocky Mount Police Department, the complaint said.
The photo was originally only shared with other members of the Rocky Mount Police Department, but Robertson has reposted it on his own Facebook account after others shared the photo, according to the complaint on social media. In a comment on social media, Robertson allegedly said he was "proud" of the photo because it showed that he and Fracker were "ready to bring skin into play," the complaint said.
Sergeant Thomas Robertson (right) and Officer Jacob Fracker (left) posted this photo of themselves on social media during the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. / Credit: U.S. law firm for D.C.
A Facebook post by Fracker, which has since been deleted, allegedly read, "Lol to everyone who may be concerned about the picture I'm walking around ... I'm sorry I hate freedom? ... Not as if I had done something illegal ... you do what you feel you need ... "
According to CBS subsidiary WDBJ, both officials have been taken on administrative leave over investigations by city officials. Police notified federal agencies, the station announced.
Robertson told the station that he and Fracker were in the back of the Capitol building and had seen no riot, violence or tear gas.
"The Capitol Police Department allowed us to be where we were and were given bottles of water and told where we could and could not go," Robertson told the station.
The complaint takes note of Robertson's allegations to the media that he did not engage in violence and was escorted by the Capitol Police, but points to another Robertson social media post that read, "CNN and the Left are just crazy because we actually attacked the government that is the problem and not a random small company ... The right IN ONE DAY has been taken over by the f ***** US Capitol. Keep nudging us. "
"Robertson made these allegations, regardless of previous posts, that he had" attacked the government "and" took over the F **** Capitol, "the complaint read." In addition, the United States Capitol was at that point and that the presence of the defendants inside was without legitimate authority. "
Also on Wednesday, a Houston police officer was fired for an alleged hearing for alleged involvement in the Capitol riot, a senior police officer told CBS News. Houston police chief Art Acevedo said the nameless officer is an 18-year veteran of the department, according to CBS subsidiary KHOU.
Acevedo said he expected federal charges to be imminent.
More than 70 people have already faced federal and local charges in the January 6 attack that killed five people. Hundreds more charges are awaited as federal investigators comb tips, videos and social media to identify and arrest suspects across the country. Those who have already been charged face a wide variety of cases, including illegal entry, disorderly behavior, theft, assault and gun abuse. A team of senior federal attorneys are investigating more serious charges, including riot and conspiracy, related to the "most heinous" acts in the Capitol, US attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, said Tuesday.
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