Apr 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ex-police officer becomes second Jan. 6 defendant to be found guilty

Photo of a crowd of Trump supporters standing outside an open door into the Capitol building, holding pro-Trump signs as they look at security officers

Police officers intervene as pro-Trump supporters breach security and attempt to enter the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former police officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection was found guilty on all charges after a trial jury reached a verdict Monday, per NBC News.

Why it matters: Thomas Robertson, who was fired from his position in Rocky Mount, Virginia, after the riots, is the second Jan. 6 defendant to take his case to jury. Guy Reffitt was also found guilty on all counts last month.

Details: Robertson faced six charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and entering and remaining on restricted grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.

  • His lawyer acknowledged that the misdemeanor charges were fair but argued against the felonies, claiming the wooden stick he carried into the Capitol was meant as a walking stick and not a weapon, according to NBC News.
  • Prosecutors alleged that Robertson posted on social media that "we actually attacked the government ... The right IN ONE DAY took the f***** U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us."
  • He also took a photo of himself and another off-duty police officer making an obscene gesture in front of a statute of John Stark in the Capitol building.
  • "This defendant gleefully put himself in the thick of the initial round of rioters who set off hours of chaos inside the Capitol," Assistant U.S. Attorney Risa Berkower told jurors during closing arguments, per NBC News.

The big picture: The DOJ has arrested more than 750 people in connection to the insurrection.

Go deeper