Seattle Police Officers Under Investigation For Involvement In Attacks On U.S. Capitol


At least two Seattle police officers have been placed on administrative leave due to their alleged involvement in the violent riots in and around the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, and the city’s Office of Police Accountability has opened an investigation into whether any Seattle Police Department policies were violated or if any potentially illegal activities need to be “referred for criminal investigation.”

Key Facts

In a press release, Police Chief Adrian Diaz said that although the Seattle Police Department (SPD) “fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech,” the mob’s actions at the Capitol on Wednesday “were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer.”

Diaz added that if any SPD officers were “directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them.”

Andrew Myerberg, the Office of Police Accountability’s civilian director, said his office learned about the officers traveling to D.C. from an email tip after a picture of the two officers at the pro-Trump rally has circulated on social media.

The OPA will attempt to determine “what role the officers played” in the protests, Myerberg explained, and if they were part of the violent mob that stormed the Capitol.

Crucial Quote: 

“The fundamental question will be, ‘Is being present at the rally in and of itself a violation of department policy?'” Myerberg said. “And I just don’t know that yet. I think it really depends on what they did and what their role was in those events.”

Key Background:

At a “Save America Rally” on Wednesday, President Donald Trump told his supporters to “stop the steal” of the election. “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy,” Trump told his followers. “And after this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you… we’re going to walk down to the Capitol.” Following the rally, pro-Trump insurrectionists would charge past barricades and law enforcement to infiltrate and ransack the U.S. Capitol. Officials have said that approximately 50 police officers were injured in clashes with rioters. The violence resulted in five deaths, including that of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died Thursday night from injuries sustained “while physically engaging with protesters,” police said in a statement. The New York Times has reported that, according to two law enforcement officials, Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher.


On Friday, it was reported that prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office are planning to open a federal murder investigation into the death of Sicknick.

Further Reading:

Rioter Arrests Have Begun: Man Who Stuck Foot On Pelosi’s Desk, GOP Legislator Among Those Apprehended (Forbes) 

Seattle police officers who were in DC during riot at US Capitol placed on administrative leave (Seattle Times

Report: Federal Murder Investigation Announced Over Death Of Capitol Police Officer (Forbes)

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