ROANOKE, VA – The Rocky Mount Police Department officers who took a picture inside the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 riot have been charged by federal authorities.
The police officers, 29-year-old Jacob Fracker and 47-year-old Thomas Robertson, appeared for the federal court hearing in Roanoke via Zoom on Wednesday.
According to a federal arrest warrant, Fracker, a K-9 unit officer, and his sergeant, Robertson, were charged with:
Misdemeanor knowingly entering a restricted building without authority to do so
Misdemeanor knowingly engaging in conduct that disrupts government business
Petty offense engaging in disruptive conduct in the Capitol in order to interfere with a session of Congress
The misdemeanor's penalty is up to a year in jail while the petty offense's penalty is up to six months.
Robertson maintains that Capitol Police allowed them inside and that he and Fracker did not engage in any violence.
Court documents say the men were arrested Wednesday and were released on $15,000 unsecured bonds.
They did not enter pleas during the hearing.
The officers are scheduled to appear for the next virtual court hearing on Tuesday.
They remain on administrative leave by the police department.
ROCKY MOUNT, VA – Federal authorities have been notified after two off-duty Rocky Mount police officers were present at Wednesday's rally in Washington, D.C. that later turned into a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
On Saturday, a photo was shared on Facebook that shows the two police officers, Thomas Robertson and Jacob Fracker, standing in front of a statue, which is located inside the Capitol.
Before deactivating his Facebook account, Fracker said in a post, “Lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around... sorry I hate freedom? not like I did anything illegal...”
Later Robertson wrote on that post, “PS. Here’s the picture in question and I am f****** PROUD of it. It shows 2 men willing to actually put skin in the game and stand up for their rights.”
Both officers claimed they didn't do anything illegal and that they were let in and escorted by Capitol Police.
“The Town of Rocky Mount fully supports all lawful expressions of freedom of speech and assembly by its employees but does not condone the unlawful acts that occurred that day,” the Rocky Mount Police Department wrote in a press release on Sunday.
The police department said the officers have been placed on administrative leave pending reviews.