Police departments across the country are investigating whether their own officers took part in the riot inside the US Capitol on Wednesday, with several officers and one police chief already facing potential termination or suspension.
It comes as the FBI has launched its own investigation into the US Capitol Police Department to probe whether officers and other staffers inside the legislature may have aided demonstrators in gaining access to the building.
Police departments in California, New Hampshire, Washington State, and Texas are among those who have already began investigating their own officers based on tips, social media posts and other evidence, with more expected to follow.
Among the under fire officers is Thomas Goldie, a patrolman for Pennsylvania’s Zelienople Borough Police Department whose wife uploaded a picture of him attending the protest to Facebook.
In the since-deleted post, captioned ‘We made it!!’, Goldie is seen wearing a bobble hat that reads: ‘Trump MAGA 2020 f*** your feelings.’Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Zelienople Police Chief Jim Miller has said that Goldie was not believed to have taken part in the skirmish inside the Capitol, but added the matter has been referred to the borough’s legal department.
Thomas Goldie (seen left), a patrolman for Pennsylvania’s Zelienople Borough Police Department, after his wife uploaded a picture of them attending the protest to Facebook. He is seen wearing a hat that reads: 'Trump 2020
Zelienople Police Chief Jim Miller has said that Goldie (shown right) was not believed to have taken part in the skirmish inside the Capitol
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while Trump supporters gather in front of the Capitol on Wednesday
Similarly, in San Antonio, Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar County said he had referred Lt. Roxanne Mathai to the internal investigations department after she posted a video of herself on Facebook near the Capitol, wearing a red, white and blue face mask and wrapped in an American flag.
In her social media posts, Mathai, an eight-year veteran, reportedly wrote enthusiastically of the scenes unfolding outside the Capitol, but stated she would not be entering the building.
'And we are going in...in the crowd at the stairs...not inside the capitol like the others. Not catching a case lol,' she wrote in one post.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
In relation to the timing of her video, Salazar said investigators would determine whether police had declared the gathering an unlawful assembly at the time she captured the footage.
‘If that is the case and she remained on scene and began filming and began making challenging statements, that means breaking the law,’ the sheriff said.
Plumes of tear gas were reportedly seen wafting in the background in the clip, the New York Times reported.
Lt. Roxanne Mathai is under investigation in San Antonio after she posted a video of herself on Facebook from near the Capitol, wearing a red, white and blue face mask and wrapped in an American flag
Mathai called the protest 'one of the greatest days of my life' in social media posts
Salazar said some of her Facebook photos also show the lieutenant in the middle of a crowd that may have assaulted law enforcement agents. If that is the case, the sheriff said Mathai will be investigated on administrative charges of conduct unbecoming and wants her to 'never set foot in (BCSO) again.'
'If she just stood by while first responders were assaulted, it would be more than just troubling, it would be downright infuriating,' Salazar told My San Antonio. 'It makes you mad ... if someone that wears a uniform just stood there, watched and took pictures.'
Mathai, a 46-year-old jail lieutenant, has already been suspended from the force since October, according to Salazar, for a separate unspecified incident. The sheriff said Friday he has referred Mathai’s video to the FBI and the internal investigations department.
Her attorney, Hector Cortes, said he was confident she’d be cleared of all wrongdoing because she didn’t participate in any illegal activity at the rally.
‘All her posts show that the closest she got to the Capitol was that she was on the lawn at the time the chaos was happening inside, unbeknownst to her,’ Cortes told the Washington Post.
'And we are going in...in the crowd at the stairs...not inside the capitol like the others. Not catching a case lol,' she wrote in one post
In Troy, New Hampshire, Police Chief David Ellis has also been heckled with calls to resign after he attended the violent rally in DC.
His presence at the scene was unearthed following the publishing of an interview he conducted with New York Magazine as the chaos unfolded Wednesday.
During the interview, Ellis condemned the violent scenes, saying: ‘[Breaking in to the Capitol] was not going to solve a thing, and then to see the police get treated the way they were treated, it’s ridiculous.’
The police chief went on to add that the unfolding anarchy didn’t make him second guess his decision to attend, affirming: ‘There’s a lot of Trump supports that are