Summary List Placement
Two Virginia police officers were arrested on Tuesday and charged over last week’s Capitol breach after they took a selfie inside the Capitol and posted on social media that they had taken part in the attack on the government.
Jacob Fracker, 29, and Thomas Robertson, 49, were arrested on the misdemeanor counts 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, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Wednesday.
Fracker is a K-9 officer with the Rocky Mount Police Department, and Robertson is his platoon sergeant, according to The Roanoke Times. Both men were off duty during the storming of the Capitol, the complaint said.
The officers are on administrative leave while town authorities review their participation in the Capitol riot, according to WDBJ.
WDBJ previously reported that the town turned the two men into federal authorities after realizing their role in last week’s pro-Trump riot.
Included in the criminal complaint is a selfie the two officers took at the Capitol and social media posts in which they said they had taken part in the riot.
The selfie shows the two men in front of the statue of Revolutionary War hero John Stark, with Fracker giving the middle finger. Stark is famous for coining the New Hampshire state motto “Live Free or Die.”
Robertson posted on Instagram that he was “proud” of the photo because it shows he was “willing to put skin in the game,” according to the complaint.
The complaint says Robertson also posted on social media: “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business … The right IN ONE DAY took the f***** U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.”
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Fracker also referenced his participation in the breach, according to the complaint: “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.”
The two men took part in a virtual hearing on Wednesday, during which prosecutors said they would not seek jail time for the officers, according to WSLS.
Prosecutors did want Fracker and Robertson to wear GPS ankle bracelets while they were out on $15,000 bond, which the judge said wasn’t necessary because the two men were police officers and military veterans, WSLS reported.
They have, however, been banned from going to Washington, DC; taking part in any demonstration or protest while out on bail; and were required to give up their firearms, according to WSLS. WDBJ reported that Robertson was told to turn in his passport, and Fracker didn’t have to because he doesn’t have one.
In an interview with The Roanoke Times, Robertson said that he and Fracker didn’t do anything illegal and that they had been let into the Capitol by US Capitol Police, who gave them bottled water and told them to stay within cordoned areas. He said that they did not witness — or take part in — any violence last week.
Fracker, an Afghanistan veteran, released a statement on Tuesday, according to The Roanoke Times, saying his actions were an “expression of grief against what very many Americans would consider tyranny.”
Fracker and Robertson are two of many off-duty cops and members of the military who are being investigated for possible involvement in last week’s breach.
Meanwhile, several US Capitol Police officers have been suspended for reportedly welcoming some of the rioters into the Capitol. One of the “Stop the Steal” organizers also claimed that three GOP congressmen helped him plan the storming of the Capitol.