After posting selfies while participating in the Capitol riots to social media, two Virginia police officers have been arrested and charged with unlawful entry into a restricted area and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
On January 6, off-duty Rocky Mount Police Sergeant Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker took a photo of themselves inside the Capitol while participating in the riots. In the photo, which was later posted on Facebook, Sgt. Robertson can be seen holding a wooden pole and Officer Fracker raises his middle finger as they stand in front of a statue of John Stark, a Revolutionary War officer from New Hampshire.
In a Facebook post that has reportedly been deleted, Fracker wrote, “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…”
In a separate social media post, Robertson wrote, “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.”
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave for attending the Capitol riots. On Wednesday, a federal arrest warrant was unsealed charging Robertson and Fracker with a misdemeanor of knowingly entering a restricted building without authority to do so and knowingly engaging in conduct that disrupts government business and the petty offense of engaging in disruptive conduct in the Capitol in order to interfere with a session of Congress.
They were arrested and released on $15,000 unsecured bonds. They were also ordered to stay away from any public assembly, demonstration, or protest until the case is resolved.
Fracker is a K9 unit officer who joined the Rocky Mount Police Department in 2017. Robertson is his platoon sergeant. Both claim that they did not perform any acts of violence while storming the Capitol.
“We’re very much aware that this is a keen and important issue to the community,” Town Manager James Ervin said Wednesday. “At this point, it’s a criminal matter and have to allow the authorities to prosecute their case as they see fit.”
The penalty for the misdemeanor is up to a year in jail. The penalty for the petty offense is up to six months in jail.
On Wednesday, Houston Police Officer Tam Pham was relieved of duty pending a disciplinary hearing for allegedly participating in the Capitol riots. Pham has also been accused of penetrating the Capitol during the violent attack.