Two Virginia police officers, including one who is an Army veteran and a trained sniper, were arrested after allegedly participating in the Capitol riot – and then boasted that it was legal on Facebook afterwards.
Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, both officers at the Rocky Mount Police Department, were charged with knowingly entering or staying in any restricted building without legal permission, as well as forcing and hooliganism on the grounds of the Capitol, according to a criminal complaint. received from the Daily Beast.
Prosecutors say the two cops, who were not at work when they traveled to DC, were filmed in the Capitol, “making an obscene statement in front of a statue of John Stark.”
“CNN and the left are just crazy because we actually attacked the government, which is the problem, not some random small business … The right took the US Capitol FOR ONE DAY. Keep pushing us, “Roberson wrote.
In an already deleted Facebook post, Fracker also commented on people seemingly worried about the photo.
“Lol for anyone who might be worried about the picture of my touring … I’m sorry I hate freedom? I’m sorry I fought hard for this and lost friends for him? Not like doing something illegal, too much to lose to get there, but you will do what you think you should like, “he wrote. “I can protest what I believe in, and I still support your protest from there [sic] what do you believe in. I’m just saying … in the end, I fought for the right to do it … “
Local news reports have identified Robertson as an army veteran who trained as a ranger and sniper and served five years, including 15 months in Iraq. He then worked as a private contractor at the Afghan Ministry of Defense to recruit and train local troops. He was in that capacity Franklin News Post reportedly suffered shrapnel injuries after a projectile exploded about 30 feet from where it was deployed by an army platoon and Afghan security forces.
A 2011 article on the local news website SWVAToday.com claims that before working as a police officer in Rocky Mount, Robertson worked on forces in nearby Roanoke.
Public records show that Fracker joined the Rocky Mount Police in 2018. The Daily Beast can only find one person with that name who lives anywhere in the United States, and that is in Rocky Mount, Virginia. 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 a desert exercise. The Virginia National Guard confirmed to The Daily Beast that Fracker was an active corporal who served on the weekends, but could not confirm that he was the cop in question.
The complaint states that Robertson also admitted to Newsweek that he and Fracker “sent the photo to their colleague from the police department and after it leaked on social networks, he posted it on his own Facebook page.” In an interview with ABC13, Robertson said the photo was taken as a joke for friends who were checking on them.
Robertson also told several media outlets that the couple had done nothing wrong and were unaware of the violence, the complaint said. Robertson also claimed to have been escorted into the Capitol Police Department building, given water, and asked to remain in the rope areas.
“Robertson made these allegations, despite his previous posts, that he ‘attacked the government’ and ‘took the episode from the Capitol,'” the complaint said. “In addition, at that date and time, the US Capitol was blocked and the presence of the accused inside was without legal authority.”
In a statement to The Daily Beast, the town of Rocky Mount confirmed that the two police officers were accused by the federal authorities in connection with the riot, but remained on “administrative leave” amid an investigation.
Five deaths were linked to Wednesday’s brutal riots. Four protesters were for Trump, including Air Force veteran Ashley Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a police officer after trying to break into the speaker’s lobby. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick was killed after he was allegedly hit by a fire extinguisher by rebels.
Capitol police said Monday that “several” officers had been fired for their behavior during the riot. Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH) told reporters that two police officers had been removed, one for taking selfies with a riot. The other, he said, put on a MAGA hat and “started pointing some people around.”
“The department is also actively reviewing video and other open source material of some USCP employees who appear to be in violation of the department’s regulations and policies,” a Capitol police statement said. “Our Professional Liability Office will investigate these disciplinary actions, up to and including termination. Several USCP officials have already been suspended pending the results of their investigations. “
Ryan also said at least ten other employees were being investigated, but did not provide further details. The chairman of the subcommittee on appropriations, which chairs the subcommittee investigating the Capitol police response, said Monday that there was no evidence that the riots were part of a broader “internal work” or that officers were purposefully cooperating or organizing with rebels.
Many local leaders also punished cops who attended the Jan. 6 event. An An Arundel County police officer was suspended on Monday pending an investigation into his involvement. His name has not been released, but PD is investigating whether he has committed any crimes or violations by the agency.
The LAPD has ordered a Los Angeles cop to talk to the FBI about his presence at the rally, although he claims he left before it was forcibly, LAPD chief Michelle Moore said on Tuesday.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio also threatened to fire all New York or U.S. prosecutors who had been to the Capitol.
“Every New York City official who is part of the city government who has taken part in an attack on our democratic institutions, who took part in the Capitol uprising, will be terminated,” de Blasio said Monday. The NYPD said Tuesday it was working with the FBI on allegations that some cops may have been in the Capitol.
The Philadelphia Police Department’s Department of the Interior is also investigating Detective Jennifer Guger to determine if she played a role in the riot. She was reassigned to her role of screening potential recruits after posting deleted photos on Facebook from near the Washington Monument that read “#StopTheSteal drinking beer with fellow patriots!”
On Monday, a Kentucky State Police soldier was also reassigned pending an investigation into his presence in DC with the family. The commander told his superiors that he had left before the crowd stormed the building.