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Capitol Police officers face discipline for selfies with rioters, internal documents show

Bryan Lowry, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — A Capitol Police officer facing disciplinary action told investigators that he posed for a photo with a suspect during the Jan. 6 riot in order to identify him later.

But the officer never shared that plan with his supervisor, the Capitol Police’s investigations unit or the FBI. It was only when the FBI contacted the Capitol Police about the officer’s photo in Facebook posts they were using to obtain an arrest warrant that the officer filled in his supervisors, according to internal investigation documents obtained by McClatchy.

The officer, whose name is redacted from the documents, is one of six facing disciplinary action related to the Jan. 6 riot when supporters of former President Donald Trump mobbed the Capitol building as lawmakers were certifying the 2020 presidential election results.

Three of the cases recommended for disciplinary action after internal investigations by the Office of Professional Responsibility involved Capitol Police officers who allegedly posed for photographs with rioters, according to the documents.

The law enforcement agency announced Saturday that its Office of Professional Responsibility had recommended disciplinary action against six officers following 38 internal investigations, but did not release details of the investigations.

Many of the cases that were dismissed involved officers who could not be identified by investigators, others that prompted a call for disciplinary action involved photographs and video.

 

The documents obtained by McClatchy reveal new details about the alleged behavior of a number of officers during the attack on the Capitol.

The FBI alerted the Capitol Police in February of a photograph of an officer posing with a riot suspect as the agency sought an arrest warrant using the suspect’s social media posts.

“The arrest warrants are public so I just wanted to give you a heads up that this is happening so you all aren’t blindsided by it,” the FBI investigator told Capitol Police in an email.

The Capitol Police officer said the suspect appeared to be an “alpha male” leading a group of Trump supporters inside the Capitol, so he approached him. “I specifically took the picture so I can refer to that guy,” the officer told investigators.

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