Tri-Cities law enforcement officials say that none of their officers were in Washington, DC during the January 6 insurrection.
Sara Quinn, editor of Tumbleweird, and Randy Slovic, author of the Tri-Cities Observer, contacted Tri-Cities’ police chief and sheriffs. Slovic emails stated (in part):
As you know, many of us were horrified to watch an angry mob attack the Capitol in Washington threatening to kill our vice-president, senators, and congressmembers. Five people died, including one member of the Capitol police.
Many of us are concerned about law enforcement officers being involved in the insurrection. Two officers with the Seattle police department have been suspended while their participation is investigated.
Some of us are contacting our local law enforcement agencies to ask if any officers were in Washington on January 6. Were any of your officers in Washington on January 6?
Thank you for your assistance in this important matter.
Quinn’s correspondence included the question of whether any officers asked for January 6 off. She also tweeted to @KennewickPolice and @PascoPoliceDept on Twitter asking if anyone from either department was involved in the Capitol riots, but received no responses.
Sergeant Rigo Pruneda, speaking for the Pasco Police Department, emphatically said “No” when asked if any Pasco Police had been in Washington.
Police Chief John Bruce of the Richland Police Department wrote: “To the best of my knowledge, we did not have any officers in DC on the 6th.”
Franklin Sheriff Jim Raymond responded: “To my knowledge no members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were in attendance.”
Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher wrote: “Nobody from my agency was involved in the incident that happened at the capitol.”
Lieutenant Aaron Clem, speaking for the Kennewick Police Department, said: "Like so many others we are horrified by what we saw as well. To our knowledge we did not have any Kennewick Police officers participating in any events in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021."
So far, there isn’t any evidence that Tri-Cities police were involved in the insurrection at the Capitol, but the same can’t be said for all of Washington State.
While police departments all across the U.S. are investigating whether their members took part in the Capitol riots on January 6, Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz has now confirmed that at least two officers of the Seattle Police Department were involved.
In a statement Thursday, Diaz said, “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.” He said he would “immediately terminate” any Seattle officers involved in the insurrection.
The Washington Post’s article about off-duty police taking part in the Capitol riots states that involvement in the events of January 6 is breaking down the ‘Code of Silence’ generally employed by police officers. Craig Futterman, who directs the University of Chicago Law Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, said that police officers are turning each other in because there is something “fundamentally anti-police” about storming the Capitol.
Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash