Two off-duty Seattle police officers who reportedly entered restricted areas and stood next to the United States Capitol as rioters were inside the building on January 6, been fired, the acting chief of the police department said on Friday.
Chief Adrian Diaz said there was “clear evidence” that placed the officers, identified as married couple Alexander Everett and Caitlin Everett, near the Capitol building as Congress met in a joint session to certify the Electoral College victory for President Biden.
He said their presence at the riot was a “stain for our department and for the men and women who work every day to protect our community, serve those in need and do so with compassion and dignity.”
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The officers committed three violations, including requiring officers to obey laws, city policy and departmental policy, according to individual disciplinary reports.
“It is on the basis of these values that I made my decision. The two officers were found to have passed through the exterior barriers set by the Capitol Police and were right next to the Capitol, ”Diaz said in a statement to the Seattle Police Newspaper. blotter. “Clear evidence places them directly next to the Capitol. It is beyond the absurd to suggest that they didn’t know they were in an area they shouldn’t be, in the midst of what was already a violent criminal riot. “
In disciplinary reports, Diaz wrote that the officers were “in the midst of an attempted insurgency” and may have played down their actions that day.
“A central function of a law enforcement officer is to uphold the law and keep the peace and your actions fall far short of that,” both reports said.
The termination is in line with the July recommendation made by the Office of Police Accountability, a civilian group that acts as a review board for the Seattle Police Department.
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“By giving the police the power and the responsibility to do their job, the community assures the hope that law enforcement will earn and respect this trust at all times,” Diaz said on Friday. “This is what we should expect from the police, and this is what I demand as a chief. This is also what Seattle police officers expect from their colleagues, since the actions of these two officers in Washington that day were first brought to our attention by colleagues. . ”
Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told Fox News that the case against the police officers was “rooted in politics.”
“I think the file itself has glaring holes,” Solan said, noting that officers said they left the area near the riot without witnessing any wrongdoing. “I believe just after 2pm, that’s when a lot of the crime was happening inside the Capitol. There was really nothing going on outside in terms of crime or assaults on law enforcement officers. “
Officers said they stayed on the grass 30 to 50 meters from the Capitol building and never saw any signs of disturbance, according to an OPA report. As of Friday, the police union had not received an investigation from police officers regarding a possible call for the layoffs, Solan said.
The couple were two of six Seattle police officers on leave who attended then President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the chaos.
Their trip became public after Caitlin Everett posted a photo to Facebook of her and Alexander Everett at the protest. Four other officers later admitted they were also there, but said they were not involved in the riot.
Diaz said the Everett’s presence there was unacceptable: “Over a hundred officers suffered serious injuries – some ending their careers – through outright assault,”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.