The accused officers say they were fired as dozens of police officers across the United States are under investigation for role in riots.
Two U.S. police officers from the state of Virginia indicted in the Capitol Riot have been suspended without pay after federal officials claimed they violently entered the Capitol during the uprising.
Sergeant Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker, officers of the Rocky Mount Police Department in Virginia, were arrested Jan. 13 for violently entering and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or without legal authorization, a small offense.
The maximum penalty for the offense of violent entry is one year and six months for the minor offense of knowingly entering the Capitol.
The men claimed to have been authorized to enter the Capitol by police and did not commit any violence. They were identified after a photo showing police officers inside the Capitol was widely shared.
Social media posts included in the federal complaint claim Robertson said on social media: “CNN and the left are just angry that we have actually attacked the government which is the problem and not some random small business… The right IN ONE DAY took the f ** *** United States Capitol. Keep stinging us.
The City of Rocky Mount and their Police Department said in a joint statement that they “are fully aware of the seriousness of the information contained in the federal arrest warrants and continue to assist federal agents in investigating this matter.” .
Robertson told the Roanoke times He and Fracker were fired on Saturday.
“We were both fired,” Robertson told the newspaper.
Robertson said the police department allowed the men to resign or retire before they released the information.
“I will not resign. I will fight this every step of the way, ”said Robertson.
A Rocky Mount Police spokesperson told Al Jazeera he could not comment on the situation, but a suspension without pay does not equate to being fired.
the January 6 riot To prevent a joint session of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, former President Donald Trump has been making false claims about electoral fraud for months.
Trump will face a historic second impeachment trial in February for “inducement” of the riot following a speech he gave to his supporters at a rally in Washington, DC. It is scheduled to start on February 9.
The riot participants ranged from far right militia members, conspiracy theorists linked to QAnon and white supremacists to US police and military personnel, raising questions about the far-right movement’s infiltration of law enforcement and military.
Other rioters, including members of the Oath Keepers, a paramilitary group which believes in an “obscure plot” to strip Americans of their rights and which is recruiting former police and military officers, were accused with conspiracy to occupy the Capitol.
The US Department of Justice lists 96 arrests and nine other suspects appearing in court in connection with the riots.
Fracker is a corporal and infantryman in the Virginia National Guard and Robertson was a former U.S. Army military police officer, the Army Times reported.
An Associated Press investigation found that at least 31 police officers across the United States are under investigation by superiors for their involvement in the riot.