2 SPD officers in D.C. during riot at Capitol placed on leave

VIDEO: At least 2 SPD were reportedly in D.C. during riot

SEATTLE — Two Seattle officers were placed on administrative leave after the Seattle Police Department found out that they were believed to have attended the protests in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Chief Adrian Diaz said Friday night that the Office of Police Accountability will review the officers’ activities and determine whether they violated any SPD policies and “if any potential illegal activities need to be referred for criminal investigation.”

He also said if the officers were directly involved in the “insurrection” that unfolded at the Capitol, he will “immediately terminate them.”

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“The Department fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer,” Diaz said.

Andrew Myerberg, director of the OPA, said an intake into the matter was opened Friday and will be investigated.

Myerberg said, “At this point, we are aware of two current SPD officers who are believed to have attended the protests in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. We do not yet know the extent of their participation and will be determining this as we proceed through the case. We will also be investigating whether there were any other SPD employees who may have been involved.”

The Seattle mayor’s office also sent out a statement regarding the violence at the Capitol and the SPD officers who were in Washington during the insurrection:

“This week, Americans across the country witnessed an insurrection at the United States Capitol building. This act — encouraged by President Trump — was a direct attack on our democracy, fundamental American values, and the rule of law. A police officer lost their life defending our democracy and countless individuals were hurt, and the violent attack on our U.S. Capitol was quite simply domestic terrorism. It is deeply disturbing that any Seattle or Washington residents participated in criminal, unlawful, and violent events this week in Washington.”

Chief Diaz put the officers on leave, referred the incident to OPA for an investigation, and clearly stated that he will terminate an officer if there is absolutely any evidence that an officer participated in any unlawful activities at the Capitol.

“Mayor Durkan supported former Chief Best’s decision to terminate an officer who violated the public’s trust by encouraging violence against President Obama and Hillary Clinton, and she would support Chief Diaz to terminate any officers whose speech or actions impact the department’s ability to serve.”