Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo on Wednesday said that an off-duty officer with the department participated in last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol and that the man has been placed on administrative leave.
“I can’t tell you the anger I feel at the thought of a police officer and other police officers thinking they get to go storm the Capitol or members of the military or the Secret Service,” Acevedo said in a press briefing Wednesday, according to a Houston-area NBC affiliate.
The chief went on to say “it saddens me to report that we have that one officer. And I want to announce it here because it’s the facts.”
Acevedo said he had received an email about the officer in question’s participation and confirmed it by checking his social media.
“Keep in mind, everyone has a First Amendment right to engage in First Amendment activity but I first wanted to make sure that they didn’t pass beyond that and do something unlawful and I can tell you that there’s a high probability that this individual will be charged with federal charges and rightfully so,” he added.
Acevedo said the officer in question was an 18-year veteran of the department and that he was giving the officer 48 hours to meet with him. Although the chief said he was not aware of any specific threats to the city, he would be implementing “all hands on deck” rules beginning Friday and disallowing any extra days off through at least the inauguration Jan. 20.
Numerous other cities are also investigating officers’ possible participation in last week’s violent unrest, including New York, Philadelphia and Seattle. The Capitol Police has also announced it has suspended several officers and is investigating at least 10 in connection with the riots.