La Plata, MD – The Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) has reinstated two corrections officers who were suspended pending investigation for being outside the U.S. Capitol building during the riot on Jan. 6.
CCSO Spokeswoman Diane Richardson said sheriff’s department commanders received a complaint on Jan. 12 that a Charles County corrections officer had been “inappropriately present” during the Capitol Riot, WRC reported.
The sheriff’s department was given a video that showed two men standing nearby as another man broke out a window at the U.S. Capitol Building.
The complaint identified one of the officers in the video as a member of the sheriff’s department.
One of the corrections officers wore his CCSO Emergency Response Team (ERT) baseball cap and a work ID in the video.
CCSO officials suspended that corrections officer with pay pending investigation, WTOP reported.
The second officer, who was featured filming the riot on his phone in the same video, was suspended with pay when he turned himself in to his supervisors after the co-worker he attended the riot with was suspended.
Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry told WTOP in an emailed statement that federal authorities didn’t have any plans to charge either of the CCSO corrections officers, so he reinstated them.
A source familiar with the federal investigation told WTOP that there was no indication that either corrections officer had ever entered the U.S. Capitol building or participated in any destruction of property.
The sheriff said the fact the corrections officers had been reinstated didn’t mean the matter was over because the internal investigation into their presence at the Capitol was ongoing.
“I recognize this is a matter of great concern to many people for many reasons, none of which is lost on this agency,” Sheriff Berry told WTOP in an email.
“While I support lawful and peaceful expressions of freedom of speech and assembly, I do not condone the violence we observed that day from some of the participants,” the sheriff wrote. “I am committed to conducting a thorough, fair, and complete investigation and I will continue our work in enhancing public trust.”
CCSO has not identified the corrections officers by name, WRC reported.