Capitol Police Officer Gets Indicted for Misconduct

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On Thursday, Capitol Police Officer Michael Riley was charged with misconduct in connection to an internal investigation by police into the response to January 6th riot. Two counts of obstruction of justice were indicted.

On January 7, 2021, in the Districtof Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant, MICHAEL ANGELO RILEY, aid knowingly corruptly persuade, and attempt to do so, with intent to cause and induce any person to alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceal an object with intent to impair the objects integrity and availabilty for use in an official proceeding —that is, RILEY directed Person 1 to take down from Facebook records relating to his conduct at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, with the intent of making the records unavailable for use in the federal investigation resulting from the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.

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On January 20, 2021, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant, MICHAEL ANGELO RILEY, did corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceala record, document, and other object, and attempt 10 do so, with the intent to impair its integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding— that is, RILEY deleted his Facebook direct communications with Person 1 to impair their use in the federal investigation resulting from the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.

As was reported by Axios Riley had contacted an rioter, and had sent a series of messages:

  • Riley allegedly sent a message to the rioter saying, “Im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance [sic],” according to the indictment.
  • “Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to be charged. Just looking out!,” Riley wrote.
  • “Riley and Person 1 exchanged dozens more Facebook direct messages on January 7, 2021,” according to the indictment.
  • Person 1 and Riley had never met but “were avid fishermen and members of fishing-related Facebook groups,” according to the indictment.

In September, the Capitol Police issued six recommendations for indictments against six officers. Six cases were found guilty of violations and recommended disciplinary action.

  • Three for unprofessional conduct
  • One for non-compliance with directives
  • One for inappropriate remarks
  • One for incorrect dissemination of information
  • A second case involving an official is pending. This time, he is being accused of poor performance and unprofessional conduct. After a criminal investigation in which no charges were filed, the administrative investigation was initiated.

Six Capitol Police officers were fired for taking part in the Capitol riot. Video footage from the attack shows several officers escorting rioters inside the building. USCP officers are also seen opening barricades to allow the mob into the Capitol Building complex.

Rep. Tim Ryan (a Democrat from Ohio) expressed concern over the behavior of Capitol Police officers during the January 6 events.

“We do have a couple of Capitol Police we talked about before with taking selfies and another, another Capitol Police [officer] evidently put on a MAGA hat and was walking people, not sure all the details,” said Ryan, “They have been suspended. Someone else has been arrested.”

From the beginning, Capitol Police officers’ behavior on January 6 was suspicious. Nine months later, we still find out about the wrongdoing committed nine months later by a secretive body of police that reports directly to Congress.