Houston Officer Probed for Possible Role in US Capitol Riot

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol
Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images

A Houston police officer suspected of taking part in the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol is under investigation, the police chief said Wednesday.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave and will face a disciplinary review hearing on Friday, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. The patrol officer, whom Acevedo did not identify, is an 18-year veteran with the department.

The officer attended a Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., in support of President Donald Trump, which is allowed under the First Amendment, Acevedo said. But investigators determined the officer later joined the mob that breached the Capitol building.

Authorities began investigating the officer after a Houston resident on Sunday emailed Acevedo a photo showing the officer at the rally draped in a Trump flag.

"But this individual has been determined to have actually penetrated the Capitol … There is no excuse for criminal activity, especially from a police officer. I can't tell you the anger I feel at the thought of a police officer and other police officers thinking they get to storm the Capitol," Acevedo said.

Rioters violently clashed with authorities as they forced their way in the Capitol to try to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Five people died during the siege, including a Capitol police officer. More than 100 people have been arrested on charges stemming from the violence.

The police chief did not provide additional details about allegations against the Houston officer, citing an ongoing police and FBI investigation.

Acevedo said he believed there was a "high probability" the officer would face federal charges.

A spokesman for the Houston Police Officers' Union did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Officers from various law enforcement agencies around the country, including in Las Vegas and Maryland, are also being investigated for possibly taking part in the mob attack on the Capitol.

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