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Numerous Police Agencies Investigating If Employees Were In Capitol Riot

Washington, DC – The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies across the nation are looking into whether any of their employees might have participated in storming the U.S. Capitol building last week.

Multiple agencies have places officers on leave and opened investigations based simply on allegations that employees traveled to the nation’s capital city.

Officials at Fort Bragg said an Army psychological operations officer acknowledged that she led a group of approximately 100 people to the Jan. 6 pro-President Trump rally from North Carolina, ABC News reported.

Army Captain Emily Rainey told military investigators that she had participated in the rally, but that she had nothing to do with the violent rioting at the Capitol building.

“I was a private citizen and doing everything right and within my rights,” Rainey said on Sunday, according to ABC News.

Attending a political event is not a violation for military personnel, provided they are not in uniform and are not on duty, ABC News reported.

Although several of the rioters arrested inside the U.S. Capitol were military veterans, none of them were active duty at the time of their arrest, according to ABC News.

The investigation into military members’ level of involvement in the riot was spurred along by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D – Illinois), who called for the probe in a letter to Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller on Monday.

“Upholding good order and discipline demands that the U.S. Armed Forces root out extremists that infiltrate the military and threaten our national security,” Duckworth declared in the letter.

All four branches of the U.S. military have indicated they are prepared or are already working to determine whether or not any of their service members participated in storming the Capitol, ABC News reported.

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced on Monday that it is also investigating whether any of its staff members participated in the riot, WLS reported.

CPD noted it has no evidence that any of its officers or other staff members had taken part in the riot, but that investigators are still working to find out if any employees engaged in criminal activities or violated department policies related to the attack.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced on Tuesday that his department is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to identify any members of the department who might have attended the pro-Trump rally or participated in the Capitol riot, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Chief Moore said he ordered his command staff to launch investigations into “anyone that has traveled to D.C. for the president’s remarks or was present at the Capitol” in order to “identify them and identify their involvement,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

He said any officers found to have traveled to the nation’s capital will be ordered to participate in an interview with the FBI.

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) announced on Tuesday that several of its officers “may have participated” in the riot, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

“As the (FBI) continues its investigation into the attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., (Metro) received information that some of its employees may have participated,” the LVMPD said in a statement. “We intend to conduct a thorough inquiry into these allegations and will cooperate with federal officials in any way we can to aid in this investigation.”

An unidentified Anne Arundel County police officer was suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation into whether the officer participated in the Capitol riot, WBAL reported.

The Sanford Fire Department in Florida said it has placed a firefighter on administrative leave after he was allegedly photographed at the event, Reuters reported.

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Monday that one NYPD officer allegedly participated in the violent riot, but that the department doesn’t “know if it’s true or not,” according to NBC News.

Two officers in Rocky Mount, Virginia have been placed on administrative leave after the department determined they “were present at an event in Washington, D.C.” on Jan. 6, NBC News reported.

The department said federal authorities have been notified and that an investigation is ongoing.

Zelienople Borough Police Department (ZBPD) Officer Thomas Goldie is currently under investigation after of photo surfaced showing him wearing a red “Trump MAGA 2020 f—k your feelings” hat at the event, The Washington Post reported.

Zelienople Police Chief Jim Miller said he does not believe Officer Goldie participated in the Capitol riot, but that the incident is still being investigated.

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Lieutenant Roxanne Mathai, 46, is under investigation after she posted a Facebook video showing her draped in a Trump flag outside the Capitol during the rally, The Washington Post reported.

She said in the video that she wasn’t going to go into the U.S. Capitol like some of the other participants, according to the paper.

“All her posts show that the closest she got to the Capitol was that she was on the lawn at the time the chaos was happening inside, unbeknownst to her,” Lt. Mathai’s attorney, Hector Cortes, told The Washington Post.

Images of Lt. Mathai at the rally have been forwarded to the FBI by BCSO staff members, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told the paper.

Residents in Troy, New Hampshire demanded that Troy Police Chief Dave Ellis resign after he said in an interview that he had attended the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6, The Washington Post reported.

A Philadelphia police detective has been reassigned and forced to hand over her duty weapon after social media posts surfaced indicating she attended the pro-President Trump rally on the day of the U.S. Capitol riot.

Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) Detective Jennifer Gugger, 51, has been stripped of her weapon and reassigned from her job conducting background checks on police recruits, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

An internal investigation was launched after department administrators became aware that Det. Gugger had allegedly traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the rally on Jan. 6, the PPD said.

The department initially noted that Det. Gugger was only being reassigned while the investigation was underway, and that the tip they received did not include evidence the veteran officer had anything to do with storming the U.S. Capitol, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“The allegation was that she was at the event,” PPD spokesperson Sergeant Eric Gripp told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Due to what unfolded at the event, we have opened an Internal Affairs investigation to see precisely what, if any, participation she had in it.”

The department’s decision to take away her duty weapon came days later.

“A decision was made during the investigation to take her gun and place her on restricted duty,” Sgt. Gripp said.

Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John McNesby said he believes Det. Gugger did nothing wrong and had nothing to do with the Capitol riot.

He said restricting Det. Gugger’s police powers is a normal part of an internal investigation, and figured department leaders were “probably just getting around to it,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Investigators are also working to determine whether or not several social media posts Det. Gugger made violate department policy.

She referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a “traitor and a cabal operative and pedophile” in one tweet, and accused him of selling his soul to the devil and being filled with “the deadly sin of greed” in another post, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Det. Gugger posted a photo referencing the QAnon conspiracy theory as her Facebook profile picture in October of 2020.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has deemed QAnon to be a domestic terror threat, investigators now must determine whether or not her posts qualify as potential hate crime or other criminal behavior, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

At least two Seattle police officers have been placed on administrative pending the outcome of an investigation into whether or not they participated in the Capitol riot while visiting Washington, DC last week.

The Seattle Office of Police Accountability (OPA) launched an internal investigation into the officers’ trip on Jan. 8, one day after a Seattle Police Department (SPD) employee passed along images showing the officers visiting the city on the same day the riot took place, The Seattle Times reported.

“When I referred it to OPA, it was not apparent exactly where the photo was taken, or if those in the photo took any part in attacking the Capitol,” Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a press release on Monday. “I placed the identified officers on administrative leave because of the significance of what occurred in Washington, D.C.”

He vowed to fire the officers in the event OPA “finds any evidence” they were “directly involved” in the rioting, and said any such findings will also be shared with federal officials.

The chief praised the SPD employee who “spoke up” after seeing the photos.

“They saw behavior they thought might violate the values of this department and they spoke up. I thank them for that,” he said.

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Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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