Two police officers in Virginia, including one who is an army veteran and trained sniper, have been arrested after allegedly participating in the Capitol uprising – then they boasted that it was legal on Facebook afterwards.
Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, both officers at the Rocky Mount Police Department, were on Wednesday charged with knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building without legal authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a criminal complaint from the Daily Beast.
Prosecutors allege that the two officers, who were not at work when they traveled to DC, were photographed inside the Capitol “with an indecent statement in front of a statue of John Stark.”
“CNN and the Left are just crazy because we actually attacked the government, that is the problem, and not a random small business … Right in ONE DAY, the f ***** took the US Capitol. Keep stinging us, ”Roberson wrote.
In a now deleted Facebook post, Fracker also commented on people who are apparently worried about the image.
“Lol for anyone who might be worried about the image of me walking around … Sorry, I hate freedom? Excuse me, I fought hard for it and lost friends for it? Not like I did anything illegal, FOOD too much to lose to go there, but you will do what you feel you need, lol, ”he wrote. “I can protest for what I believe in and still support your protest [sic] what you believe in. Just to say … after all, I fought for the right to do so … ”
Local news reports identify Robertson as an army veteran who received ranger and sniper training and served five years, including 15 months in Iraq. He then worked as a private contractor with the Ministry of Defense in Afghanistan to recruit and train local troops. It was in that capacity that Franklin News Post reported that he suffered grenade launcher damage after a shell exploded about 30 meters from where he was embedded with an army platoon and Afghan security forces.
A 2011 article on the local news site SWVAToday.com claimed that before working as a police officer in Rocky Mount, Robertson worked on the police force in nearby Roanoke.
Public records show Fracker joined Rocky Mount Police in 2018. The Daily Beast could only detect an individual with that name who was anywhere in the United States, and that was in Rocky Mount, Virginia. A Jacob Fracker served as a specialist in the Virginia National Guard, according to a video his infantry battalion posted on Facebook showing him participating in desert exercises. The Virginia National Guard confirmed to The Daily Beast that Fracker is an active corporal serving on the weekend, but could not confirm that he was that officer.
The complaint says Robertson also admitted Newsweek that he and Fracker “sent the picture to their colleague in the police department, and after it was leaked to social media, he re-posted it on his own Facebook page.” In an interview with ABC13, Robertson said the photo was taken as a joke for friends checking in on them.
Robertson also insisted to several media outlets that the couple did nothing wrong and did not know about the violence, the complaint says. Robertson also claimed they had been escorted into the building by the Capitol Police, given water and asked to remain within rope areas.
“Robertson made these allegations despite his previous submissions that he had ‘attacked the government’ and ‘taken the f **** Capitol,'” the complaint reads. . and the presence of the defendants inside was without lawful authority. ”
In a statement to The Daily Beast, the town of Rocky Mount confirmed that the two officers were charged by federal authorities in connection with the uprising, but remain in “administrative leave” amid an investigation.
Five deaths have been linked to Wednesday’s violent riots. Four were pro-Trump protesters, including Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by a police officer after trying to break into the speaker’s lobby. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick was killed after allegedly hitting a fire extinguisher by rebels.
On Monday, Capitol Police said “several” officers have been suspended for their behavior during the riots. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told reporters that two officers had been suspended, one for taking a selfie with a rioter. The other, he said, put on a MAGA hat and “started leading some people around.”
“The department has also been actively reviewing video and other open source material from some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of the department’s rules and policies,” the Capitol Police said in a statement. “Our Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate this behavior for disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Several USCP officers have already been suspended pending the outcome of their investigation. ”
Ryan also said at least a further ten officers were under investigation but did not provide further details. The chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the subcommittee investigating the Capitol Police’s response said Monday there was no evidence that the riots were part of a broader “internal job” or that officers purposefully collaborated with or organized with rebels.
Many local leaders are also punishing the police who attended the event on January 6th. An officer from Anne Arundel County was suspended on pay Monday pending an investigation into his involvement. His name has not been released, but the PD is investigating whether he committed any crimes or agency violations.
A Los Angeles police officer has been ordered by the LAPD to speak to the FBI about his participation in the demonstration, though he claims he left before it became violent, LAPD chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also threatened to fire any NYPD or U.S. Attorney’s Office staffer who was at the Capitol.
“Any employee in New York City, any part of the city council who participated in an attack on our democratic institutions who participated in a riot at the Capitol will be fired – period,” de Blasio said Monday. The NYPD said Tuesday that they are working with the FBI following suggestions that some officers may have been at the Capitol.
Philadelphia Police Department of Internal Affairs is also investigating a detective, Jennifer Gugger, to determine if she had any role in the uprising. She has been redistributed from her role in investigating potential recruits after posting page deleted photos on Facebook from near the Washington Monument with the caption “#StopTheSteal Drinking Beer with Other Patriots!”
A police officer in Kentucky was also assigned Monday pending an investigation into his presence in DC with his family. The trooper told his superiors that he left before the mob broke into the building.