The Seattle Police Department is investigating two of its officers who were in Washington, D.C., at the time the U.S. Capitol was stormed.
Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a statement Friday that the officers have been placed on administrative leave while the department’s Office of Police Accountability investigates whether they participated in Wednesday’s deadly riot.
The OPA will examine whether any department policies were violated “and if any potential illegal activities need to be referred for criminal investigation,” Diaz said. “If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them.”
While the agency supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, he said the mob broke the law and caused the death of a police officer.
Rioters overwhelmed law enforcement officers at the Capitol following a rally addressed by President Trump, who repeated base.”less claims of election fraud and urged his loyalists to go to the Capitol to “fight.”
They broke into the building as lawmakers were in the midst of a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes that officially sealed Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
Five people were killed, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who succumbed to injuries that triggered a stroke after an altercation with a rioter.
Last summer, Seattle police dealt with violent clashes of their own when supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement took over a portion of a neighborhood, dubbing it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). Three weeks later, police later reclaimed the area.