https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-capitol-police-officers-were-investigated-some-found-guilty-of-being-friendly-to-jan-6-protesters_4620913.html

Despite the mounting evidence continuously exposed by The Epoch Times that some law enforcement officers engaged in brutal, unprovoked attacks against essentially peaceful Jan. 6 protesters, every one of them has been cleared of wrongdoing. However, several documents obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times show other officers were investigated for being friendly with protesters, six of whom were found guilty and disciplined for their actions.

According to a Sept. 12, 2021, news report, the U.S. Capitol Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) launched 38 internal investigations related to police conduct on Jan. 6, 2021. Many of the investigations were prompted by anonymous tips after USCP personnel were encouraged to “report any misconduct by USCP employees.”

Bulletin No. 21.13, published Jan. 13, 2021, announced the establishment of the Office of Professional Responsibility Tip Line encouraging U.S. Capitol Police personnel to “report any misconduct by USCP employees that occurred during the events on Janury 6, 2021.” (U.S. Capitol Police)

However, the OPR was only able to identify the officers involved in 26 of the 38 incidents. Twenty-five of these reports were obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times, some of which are outlined below.

The Reports

In some of these cases, officers were investigated for simply bumping elbows (pdf), shaking hands (pdf), and fist bumping (pdf) with protesters who had entered the Capitol building.

Another officer was investigated because he had an “Oathkeeper” bumper sticker on his personal vehicle (pdf), which “allegedly brought the Department into disrepute.”

None of the officers involved in these cases were found guilty of wrongdoing.

In another report, an unnamed officer was accused of violating the USCP rules of conduct when he “allegedly made contact with three unidentified and unauthorized male individuals in what appeared to be recognition and possible friendship” and then initiated fist bumps with the men, who were part of the protest at the Capitol (pdf).

The report goes on to disclose that the unnamed officer had come into possession of what “looked like a two way radio” with “a small antenna,” which was “not a USCP Department issued radio.” The radio had allegedly been abandoned near the Capitol Rotunda doors by a protester.

During questioning, the unnamed officer said he found the radio and picked it up.

“I didn’t want anyone else getting their hands on it that shouldn’t have their hands on it … so I was securing it,” he said.

The officer was temporarily suspended from his duties, but as with the preceding cases, the OPR ultimately determined there was “insufficient evidence” to establish that the officer had “nefarious intentions after retrieving the radio.”

Some Officers Found Guilty

While the majority of the investigations concluded the accused officers were not guilty of violating any rules, others were not as lucky.

Of the 26 incidents investigated, the USCP announced that disciplinary action was recommended in six cases. Three of these were for “conduct unbecoming.” Another was for “improper remarks.” One other was for “improper dissemination of information,” and another one was for “failure to comply with directives.”

Reports for five of the six cases were among those obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times.

‘Conduct Unbecoming’

One of the cases, No. 21-002 (pdf), involved an officer who allegedly violated USCP’s rules of conduct on Jan. 6 when “he posed for several pictures with Pro-Trump supporters” who had entered the Capitol.

Screenshot from footage filmed on January 6, 2021 and posted to social media by journalist Timothy Burke.
Screenshot from footage filmed on Jan. 6, 2021, and posted to social media by journalist Timothy Burke. (U.S. Capitol Police)

The OPR “received numerous complaints, via telephone and at least 170 emails received in one day, regarding photographs that appeared in news stories and on a live Twitter video of a USCP officer posing with rioters after the Capitol Building was breached.”

The video, no longer available online, had accrued an estimated 18.5 million views by 3:42 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, and an additional 162,000 people were posting on Twitter about it.

Crime novelist Don Winslow even offered a $20,000 reward to anyone who could identify the officer.

The report added that during a Jan. 7, 2021, interview conducted by WUSA9, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) said, “Some people are worried today that some police were complicit with the protesters. It’s one thing to be friendly and to de-escalate the violence. But it’s one thing to take selfies with them (rioters) and let them go through the lines.”

In case No. 21-018 (pdf), the OPR received a social media video clip from another anonymous tipster showing a bicycle officer stopping to allow someone to take a selfie with him.

During his interrogation, the officer was shown the social media clip and asked if he recalled stopping to take the photo.

“No ma’am,” he replied. “I had people coming up to me and videoing me all day long. Pictures and videos of officers all day long. So, I mean, there was a lot going on that day.” He went on to say he’d been sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray and had been fighting with protesters all day.

“That’s a traumatic life event,” he said. “I mean, I never experienced anything like that in my life … thought I never would.”

The investigation concluded that the charges of “conduct unbecoming” against the officer were sustained.

In case No. 21-039 (pdf), another officer was charged with violating the USCP rules of conduct for allegedly posing for a photograph with a man later identified as Daniel Diaz, a protester who was inside the Capitol.

Selfie taken by Diaz with unnamed officer on January 6, 2021.
Daniel Diaz (L) takes a selfie with an unnamed Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Capitol Police)

On Feb. 19, 2021, inspector Jason Bell forwarded the following email from the FBI to the OPR:

I was given your name by our Command Post here at the WFO. I am investigating a subject named Daniel Diaz. We believe we have enough for an arrest warrant for his role on 01/06/2021 at the US Capitol. We are using his Facebook account as evidence as he posted multiple photos/videos/comments at the Capitol. One of the photos we will use in the warrant is of Diaz taking a selfie with one of your officers. The arrest warrants are public so I just wanted to give you a heads up that this is happening so you all aren’t blindsided by it. The photo is attached. I am not sure when the arrest warrant will be issued. Fee/free to contact me to discuss further.

During his interrogation, the report says the unnamed officer said he told Diaz to take the photograph with him so it could be used as evidence against Diaz once an investigation took place. But investigators were dissatisfied that the officer didn’t alert his superiors, the investigations division, or the FBI until four days later when he was interviewed as a victim of the events.

The investigation concluded that the charges of “conduct unbecoming” against this officer were also sustained.

Failure to Comply With Directives

The officer involved in case No. 21-010 (pdf) was deemed guilty of “failure to comply with directives” because he shared social media posts with conservative viewpoints about gun control and the general state of the country that were deemed to be in sympathy with the Jan. 6 protesters.

He also displayed the USCP logo to honor USCP Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of natural causes after the Capitol breach.

Investigators received an anonymous tip from a longtime acquaintance of the officer, who attached screenshots of the officer’s Facebook page.

“Please note I am aware that Officer’s [redacted] politics leaned conservative,” the tipster said in a Jan. 11, 2021, email to the OPR. “And that in and of itself obviously plays no role into his fitness for duty in the Capitol. Having political opinions in one direction or another is only human and natural. However, the message from the riots in the Capitol was one of insurrection against the institutions of government and democracy in this country. And looking over the posts from Officer [redacted] since January 6th, I have a hard time reconciling tributes to a colleague murdered by this anti-democratic mob on one hand, and messages that appear to be in sympathy and support of those involved in such a murder on the other hand.”

As reported by The Epoch Times, a Washington medical examiner confirmed on April 19, 2021, that Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes on Jan. 7, 2021, the day after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach,

Improper Dissemination of Information

In case No. 21-015 (pdf), another anonymous tipster turned in a “friend of forty years,” who is a special agent in the protective services bureau, because the agent had disclosed in a conversation with an anonymous friend that “members of Congress had been taken to a secure location” during the breach of the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.

While the tipster said he “believed it was inappropriate for [redacted] to reveal where members were evacuated,” he admitted the agent “did not state any specific information about SECURE LOCATION other than it was a location that members were evacuated to.”

The tipster did not indicate that the agent assisted the rioters in any way, but he said he was “uncomfortable with how this friend has associated himself with the rioters and the people that were sympathetic with Trump and stealing the election and overturning the election.”

Because of that, the tipster said he believed the agent was part of that “cult.”

The OPR concluded from its investigation that the charges against the special agent were sustained.

Similar Evidence, Different Standards

A Feb. 26, 2021, memorandum from OPR Commander Inspector Michael Shaffer regarding case No. 21-026 states the OPR “received an email alleging a USCP officer punched a citizen without reason.”

Screenshot from a video used in a January 2021 report of
Screenshot from a video used in a January 2021 report of “suspected police brutality.” (U.S. Capitol Police)

While the report says “a review of the provided images disclosed that the officer was not a member” of the USCP, the agency continues to refer to the individual as an “officer” and shows him wearing a vest with the word “police” on the back. Then the report claims the mask the officer is wearing in the image makes it impossible to identify him.

“In addition, the images do not show the officer striking anyone, only their arm extended,” the report states further, noting that “the images are of such poor quality that it cannot be determined whether or not this incident occurred on U.S. Capitol Grounds” and that “the officer is also wearing a facemask where only the area around their eyes visible [sic] making identification highly improbable.”

However, this photo is similar to several that are being used as evidence against Jan. 6 prisoners, but viewed by different standards.

As reported on July 5 by The Epoch Times, “two Jan. 6 attorneys are claiming the government is manufacturing evidence” to arrest and incarcerate their defendants.

Screengrab from video used by the FBI to prove their allegation that Bryan Mock
Screengrab from a video used by the FBI to prove its allegation that Jan. 6 defendant Bryan Mock kicked a police officer who was on the ground. (FBI)

The screenshot of an image showing Jan. 6 defendant Bryan Mock with his right knee lifted has been used to accuse him of kicking an officer who was on the ground. However, the full video shows that Mock was in the process of falling backward when the screenshot was taken from the video, and his foot never made contact with the officer.

A series of still frames pulled from videos were used to allege that Jan. 6 defendant Christopher Worrell sprayed police officers with pepper gel. However, there is no image actually showing police officers being struck with pepper gel.

Screengrab from video used by the FBI to prove the allegation that Chris Worrell sprayed police with pepper gel. However, the image does not show police being struck with pepper gel.
Screengrab from video used by the FBI to prove the allegation that Chris Worrell sprayed police with pepper gel. However, the image does not show police being struck with pepper gel. (FBI Criminal Complaint)
Screengrab from video used by the FBI to prove the allegation that Chris Worrell sprayed police with pepper gel. However, the image does not show police being struck with pepper gel.
Screengrab from video used by the FBI to prove the allegation that Chris Worrell sprayed police with pepper gel. However, the image does not show police being struck with pepper gel. (FBI)

The Epoch Times reached out to the OPR for comment.

Patricia Tolson

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Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: patricia.tolson@epochtimes.us

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