SEATTLE — Two Seattle officers are being investigated after attending the violent pro-Trump rally at the U. S. Capitol.
The investigation is occurring as the president of the police officers guild faces rebuke for his own inflammatory tweet about the insurrection.
Seattle residents who spoke to KIRO 7 say it may not matter whether they breached the Capitol building along with hundreds of others.
As police officers, they may have forfeited the right to protect and serve the people of Seattle.
These images of a mob breaking its way into the U.S. Capitol Building have sparked strong emotions across the political spectrum and led to calls for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Now comes word that two Seattle police officers were in the crowd, too.
Seattle residents on this city’s Capitol Hill weighed in.
Tucker Flood was asked what he felt if the officers had not breached the Capitol.
“It gets harder at that point,” Flood said. “But by the same token I mean when there was an awful lot of threatening people around federal buildings and federal places before that. And then they all stormed the area.”
“Regardless of what their actions were, there’s going to be scrutiny at some point,” said Ming Huang. “I think there should be better measures to ensure the public that we do believe in that they are here to protect us.”
No one has said where the officers were during the melee.
But late Friday, Seattle police chief Adrian Diaz announced he had placed the officers on paid administrative leave. The Officer of Police Accountability will lead the investigation.
“If they went into the Capitol Building then that’s a crime,” said retired King County Sheriff John Urquhart.
He says the First Amendment protects the officers if they remained outside the U. S. Capitol. But if they, too, broke in, then they have committed the federal equivalent of criminal trespassing, something that could cost them their jobs.
“Criminal trespass, especially in this particular situation, is exceedingly serious,” Urquhart said. “And I would think they would really be in jeopardy of losing their jobs if they went into that building.”
He said that could occur even if they end up not facing federal charges.
As for the president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, Urquhart believes his tweet is protected by the First Amendment. But that doesn’t mean he won’t face criticism from others in law enforcement as he already has.
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