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2 Virginia Cops Charged With Breaching Capitol

Houston officer is likely to be charged, too
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2021 8:41 AM CST
2 Virginia Cops Charged With Breaching Capitol
Sergeant Thomas Robertson, right, and Officer Jacob Fracker, left, are pictured inside the US Capitol on Jan. 6.   (US Attorney's Office for DC)

(Newser) – Two police officers from rural Virginia are facing federal charges for their alleged role in the Capitol riot. Sergeant Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker of the Rocky Mount Police Department, charged with unlawful entry into a restricted area and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, were photographed in front of a statue inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to a criminal complaint. The selfie was initially shared only with members of the police department but had spread beyond that group by the time Robertson posted it on his own Facebook page, per CBS News. He wrote that he was "proud" of the image as it showed he and Fracker were "willing to put skin in the game and stand up for their rights," per WSLS. "Lol to anyone who's possibly concerned about the picture of me going around," Fracker allegedly wrote. "Sorry I hate freedom?"

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Robertson told WDBJ that he and Fracker saw no violence. "I walked through an open door guarded by two Capitol police officers, was handed a bottle of water by then and asked to stay within a roped area, which we did," he added, per WSLS. However, the complaint stresses that the Capitol was on lockdown while the officers were inside. It also references a social media post in which Robertson said "we actually attacked the government" and "the right IN ONE DAY took the f------ US Capitol." On administrative leave, the officers were each released on a $15,000 unsecured bond on Wednesday, per WSLS. An officer with the Houston Police Department is also likely to face charges tied to the riot, per KHOU. Tam Pham, who carried a Trump flag at the Capitol, tells the Houston Chronicle that he was "there to take pictures" but "wasn't in the right mind." (Read more U.S. Capitol stories.)

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