One Capitol police officer took a selfie with someone in the crowd that overtook the Capitol, and the other wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and began directing people around the building, according to Tim Ryan of the Ohio Democrat. He did not reveal how many other police officers were investigated, but confirmed that it was between 10 and 15 and did not say what they were being checked for, except that this was their behavior during the riot.
Ryan added that one person had been arrested, but he did not know if that person was a police officer or part of the National Guard. He said more details about the arrest would come later.
The federal investigative interest is a priority and part of a broader Capitol mob investigation, sources said. Investigating insurgent links with law enforcement is a priority, as the skills officers are trained to use in the course of their duties can be useful to an extremist mob, authorities say. This includes cleaning rooms, guarding people, securing areas and handling firearms.
Democratic members of the House also raised questions about potential sympathy for the attackers among U.S. Capitol police. This agency did not respond to CNN̵
The domestic majority, whip Jim Cliburn, a South Carolina Democrat, is among those who have other questions about whether some Capitol police officers helped the protesters and were complicit in Wednesday’s uprising. Claiborne, for example, said it was surprising that the rebels knew where the legislators’ offices were.
Early videos – one showing a Trump supporter taking a selfie with a police officer near the Capitol entrance and another appearing to show that police are letting protesters into the building – went viral on social media.
It was later found that the second video was made an hour after the Capitol broke.
Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who chairs a committee of the House that oversees Capitol police, said there would be an investigation into the videos.
“A number of social media outlets have raised concerns about individual officers who, you know, if you look at the video, may have taken selfies with these riots or even let them in,” Lofgren said. “We need to investigate this thoroughly, but I also know that there were many officers who responded with great courage. Many officers were wounded defending the Capitol, and we thank them for their patriotism in defending this temple of democracy.”
Investigations across the country
At least seven officers in five other departments across the country are under internal investigation as their presence in Washington at the time of the attack is revealed through social media or other means.
One employee in New York, one in Philadelphia, two in Seattle, two in Virginia and one in Texas are being investigated by their departments for potential violations. In addition, the FBI contacted some departments as part of their criminal investigation into the Capitol.
Their numbers may increase as investigators and the public sift through social media and allege that officials may have been involved in the siege.
Police said their investigation would depend on the type of officers involved in last week’s attack.
“There’s a big difference between walking down Pennsylvania Avenue and expressing yourself and entering a building where rebels push the police and hit the police and push them in,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.
“That will be the question. They just came and they marched, did they go inside the building and become part of (riot).”
No law enforcement officer has been charged with a crime.
More than 70 million people voted for Trump in the 2020 election, and he often touted the police as a strong supporter. An officer on duty was killed and dozens more were injured in last week’s attack. The Fraternal Police Order, which backed Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, issued a statement urging him to condemn those who attacked the Capitol, and called on all to “reject the use of violence and obey orders.” of law enforcement authorities “.
The FBI is investigating the attack on the Capitol, and members of Congress have promised an investigation. A Capitol police spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
Wexler said almost every police station has a section of the rules that can be used to discipline employees for their behavior on Wednesday. Employees can exercise their rights for the First Amendment, but they must maintain confidence so they can testify, he said.
“Being a police officer is really different from other positions, because trust is very important in terms of testimony in cases,” he said. “Your activity outside when you are a police officer becomes suitable for testifying. … This worries police chiefs. That is why you have internal affairs investigations when you have reason to believe that officers are involved.”
“I think it’s worth exploring. It’s totally worth exploring,” Wexler said. “You have a police officer who died as a result of these riots. You have huge safety concerns, for the police officers working at the event.”
Wexler said investigators were willing to determine whether they had simply attended a rally or gained access to the Capitol with the crowd seeking to cancel the election.
“Did they use the fact that they were police officers to gain access in any way? That would be very problematic. Did they enter the building and track down others who entered the building? It would be very problematic and could cost them their job.” Wexler said.
This is an innovative story and will be updated.
Jessica Schneider, Mark Morales, Manu Raju, Dana Bash, Daniela Diaz, Michael Holmes, Josh Campbell, Jeremy Herb, Evan Perez, Kelsey Smith and Paul Murphy contributed to this story.