Man in Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt arrested in Capitol riot, law enforcement official said


CNN was the first to report that the man in the sweatshirt was identified as Robert Keith Packer of Virginia. A law enforcement official told CNN that Packer was arrested in Newport News, Virginia.

An image of Packer inside the Capitol, whose sweatshirt bore the name of the Nazi concentration camp where an estimated 1.1 million people were killed in World War II, sparked shock and disbelief on social networks. The bottom of his shirt read: “Work brings freedom”, which is the rough translation of the expression “Arbeit macht frei” which was at the gates of the concentration camp.

Packer has a criminal record, including three convictions for driving under the influence and one felony conviction for tampering with public records, according to Virginia court records. He was charged in 2016 with suspected trespassing. The case was subsequently closed.

Packer was among the crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol building on Jan.6 as Congress was counting the Electoral College’s votes and certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

Falsely convinced that the election was stolen from Trump, the rioters fought with police and attacked members of the media, smashed windows, vandalized and ransacked offices, and stole federal property.

Five people – including US Capitol policeman Brian Sicknick – have died and many more have been injured in the insurgency. A woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police as crowds entered the building and three others suffered medical emergencies that turned out to be fatal.

Washington, DC, police made 61 arrests that day, while scores of others were arrested in the days that followed, with at least 20 federal charges.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department said it had indicted more than 70 cases and opened more than 170 cases – “the number of which is expected to reach hundreds” – as part of its federal investigation.

This story has been updated with additional background information.

Curt Devine, Scott Bronstein, Drew Griffin, Paul Murphy, and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here