But the internal investigation noted that the officer did not use his own phone to take the photo or obtain any of the suspect’s information if that was his goal. “I didn‘t want to know the guy,” the officer said, according to the documents.
Investigators found the officer had committed “conduct unbecoming,” which is also the accusation against two other officers who allegedly posed for photos.
One of those officers facing disciplinary action was filmed posing for photos with multiple rioters, the investigation found.
He became known as the “selfie officer” and the department received “numerous complaints, via telephone and at least 170 emails received in one day, regarding photographs that appeared in news stories and on a live Twitter video of a USCP officer posing with rioters after the Capitol Building was Breached,” one of the investigation documents stated.
The officer told investigators he was seeking to defuse the situation.
“I can’t help what they do. If you want to take a photo, I’m not going to say no because we are always told to interact and keep the situation calm,” he said, according to the documents.
But investigators determined that even if the officer thought he was calming the situation, “his actions were inappropriate under the circumstances, and reflected negatively upon himself as a representative of the Department.”
Another officer who allegedly posed for a photo testified that he did not remember and pointed to the trauma of the day.
“I had people coming up to me and videoing me all day long. Pictures and videos of officers all day long. So, I mean, there was a lot going on that day,” the officer said, according to the documents. “This is after being CS sprayed, OC sprayed, fighting with protesters all day ... Plus that, that’s a traumatic life event.”
Capitol Police said Saturday that it shared the investigation documents with the Department of Justice as part of its discovery process. The DOJ did not immediately comment on their contents Tuesday.