Above photo: Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters during clashes at the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, January 6, 2021. Reuters / Shannon Stapleton.
NOTE: The events of January 6 have set off a wave of retaliation against any person who participated in the rally and march on the Capitol. This sets a dangerous precedent for those who believe in the First Amendment. Of course, people who broke into the Capitol and/or threatened violence against members of Congress should be investigated, but a dragnet sweep like this should be rejected. Otherwise it begins a slippery slope for all who protest. Infiltrators of left wing protests and agent provocateurs have often sought to turn protests violent, but that doesn’t mean every person who attended is complicit or guilty. – MF
Police officers & firefighters probed, employees losing jobs for partaking in US Capitol protest-turned-riot.
Seattle’s police department is investigating two of its officers after finding out they were in Washington, DC, as public and private employees face scrutiny for partaking in the pro-Trump rally-turned-riot at the US Capitol.
“The department fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the US Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer,”Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said on Friday night in astatement.
The two officers were placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Any officers who were“directly involved”in the “insurrection” at the Capitol will be fired right away, Diaz said.
The probe comes as businesses and governments across the US look to jettison employees who may have taken part in Wednesday’s violent protest in Washington to fight the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral votes. The CEO of suburban Chicago-based data analytics firm Cogensia was fired on Friday after being arrested over his alleged role in the riot, as was the associate general counsel of Texas-based Goosehead Insurance. The latter claimed he was peacefully demonstrating.
A Chicago real estate agent also lost her job after saying on social media that she took part in “storming the Capitol.” A Saint Vincent College professor was cut loose by the Pennsylvania school after he shared pictures of himself outside the Capitol on Wednesday. The president of the Richmond Food Truck Association was forced to resign for participating in the protest.
And as the Seattle investigation shows, public-sector employers also are cracking down. The Allentown School District in Pennsylvania has a similar investigation underway, concerning an employee who may have been involved in the protest.
The city of Pittsburgh said on Saturday that any employees who are found to have participated in the “deadly insurrection” will face “appropriate disciplinary action.” The FBI is reportedly investigating whether New York City firefighters were involved in the breach of the Capitol. A photo on social media showed a man standing near the Capitol entrance, wearing a jacket marked “FDNY Squad 252” on the back. A department spokesman told the New York Post that the man is “believed to be retired.”
The crackdown is raising questions over whether people who took part in the DC protests peacefully and legally will be lumped in with law-breakers and punished.
Oakland Vows to ‘Root Out’ Cops Who Endorse Capitol Takeover.
The Oakland Police Department has opened an investigation into allegations that its officers endorsed or participated on social media accounts that contain objectionable content about the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“Whether on or off duty, employees of OPD are prohibited from affiliating with subversive groups, and they are prohibited from doing anything that brings disrepute to the Department and erodes the public’s trust,” the department said in a statement Friday.
The probe followed an interview with a former Oakland police officer who marched to the Capitol on Wednesday and defended the actions of the pro-Trump loyalists who forced their way into the building as members of Congress were meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Jurell Snyder, who was an Oakland officer from 2006 to 2015, repeated false claims about election fraud and told the station that Democrats should be criminally charged for treason. The online news site Oaklandside said former and current Oakland police officers “liked” Snyder’s Facebook posts about the storming of the Capitol.
The department condemned Snyder’s remarks and warned that any current employee making such statements would face a disciplinary investigation that could lead to termination.
“OPD will not allow any members to engage in or support this type of content and will root out this conduct,” the statement said. “Hate speech and offensive conduct will not be tolerated; there are clear policies and guidelines that govern this behavior.”