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One of two Virginia police officers arrested and charged in connection with last week’s riots at the Capitol is a current member of the US military.
Rocky Mount Police Officers Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson were charged in federal court on Wednesday with entering a restricted area without authorization, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
The two officers, who were off duty at the time, were photographed inside the Capitol making obscene gestures, according to the US Attorney’s office.
Robertson told ABC13 one day prior to his and Fracker’s arrest that Capitol Police let them inside the building. But, in a since deleted Facebook post, he wrote that “we actually attacked the government” and “IN ONE DAY took the f***ing US Capitol,” the Department of Justice said in its statement.
In a separate social media post, Fracker insisted that he did not do anything illegal. Robertson said the pair was only in the building for about 10 minutes.
The two police officers, which have been placed on administrative leave, are current and former members of the US military, Military.com reported Thursday.
Fracker is reportedly a former Marine who deployed twice to Afghanistan and a current infantryman in the Virginia National Guard, and Robertson is a Army veteran who deployed to Iraq.
The Virginia National Guard confirmed Military.com’s reporting, telling Insider that Fracker is a corporal with the Guard, which is conducting an investigation into the matter.
Among the Trump supporters who were at the Capitol to derail congressional efforts to certify the vote and President-elect Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump were a number of former service members.
Some of the veterans at the riots include retired Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr., who was arrested after being spotted inside the Capitol wearing tactical gear and carrying zip-tie handcuffs, Air Force veteran, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed during the riots, Jacob Chansley, a Navy veteran and prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist who was taken into custody after storming the building in a furry headdress with horns and a spear, and former Navy SEAL Adam Newbold is being questioned by the FBI.
Fracker is believed to be the first current member of the military to have been arrested in connection to the Capitol siege.
On Thursday, fourteen Democratic lawmakers urged the Department of Defense to “immediately” investigate “white supremacist and violent fringe extremist activity” in the US military.
“Several insurrectionists who attacked the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 have been identified as active duty service members, reservists, retirees, and veterans,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the acting Pentagon inspector general.
“Although the Pentagon has acknowledged this issue, it has failed to implement a comprehensive action plan to address it,” the letter said.
The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General announced Thursday afternoon that it is launching an investigation into the military’s efforts to eliminate …read more
Source:: Business Insider