Updated Jan 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

2 Virginia police officers charged over Capitol riots

A photo included as an exhibit in the criminal complaint released by authorities shows the men posing in front of the statue with their fingers raised.
A photo included in the criminal complaint released by authorities shows two men identified as the off-duty Virginia police officers gesturing in front of a statue in the Capitol. Photo: Department of Justice

Two off-duty Rocky Mount Police, Virginia, police officers have been charged over last week's deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The big picture: Dozens of people have been arrested and charged for their alleged involvement in the riot by supporters of President Trump. Over 160 case files have been opened, said Michael Sherwin, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Tuesday.

  • Many have been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, among other offenses.

Among those charged:

Rocky Mount Police officers Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, who were each charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

  • Per a criminal complaint, Fracker said in a now-deleted Facebook post, "Lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around…sorry I hate freedom? …Not like I did anything illegal…y'all do what you feel you need to."

Eric Gavelek Munchel, of Tennessee, and Larry Rendell Brock, of Texas, face federal charges after being accused of carrying plastic restraints during the siege.

Adam Johnson, the Florida man photographed carrying Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern, was charged Saturday with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, theft of government property and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

A man identified as Adam Johnson carries the lectern of Pelosi through the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building.
A man identified as Adam Johnson carries the lectern of Pelosi through the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Jacob Anthony Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, of Arizona, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

  • Angeli has been identified as the shirtless man seen in photos who was carrying a spear and wearing horns, a bearskin headdress and face paint.
  • He's a prominent QAnon figure, who's often referred to as, "Q Shaman."
Jake Angeli
Jake Angeli was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man who was photographed sitting at a desk in Pelosi's office during the riot, has been arrested and charged with three felony counts, including theft of public property, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Richard Barrett
Richard Barnett has been charged with three felony counts. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Lonnie Coffman of Alabama was charged with "possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license." The DOJ alleges Coffman's vehicle contained 11 Molotov cocktails and firearms.

Mark Leffingwell was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, assault on a federal law enforcement officer and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Leffingwell allegedly struck an officer in the helmet and chest.

Derrick Evans, a West Virginia state delegate who filmed himself storming the Capitol Wednesday, has been charged with entering a restricted area. Evans has resigned after facing charges in connection with the riot.

Nick Ochs, leader of the Proud Boys Hawaii, has been charged with "unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds," per an indictment shared by Hawaii Public Radio.

What they're saying: "What took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy," said FBI Director Christopher Wray in a statement Friday.

Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office, said "there was no indication" leading up to the events that there was anything planned "other than First Amendment protected activity," per Politico.

Between the lines: Media outlets including ProPublica have reported that for weeks, far-right Trump supporters discussed the idea of a violent protest on social media and chat platforms.

Go deeper: The Capitol siege's QAnon roots

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details of further charges.

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