A Pennsylvania police officer was arrested by the FBI in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot in January.
Joseph Fischer, 54, a police bid for North Cornwall Township in Lebanon County, is being held in the Dauphin County Jail, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office said.
He has been charged with obstructing law enforcement during civil unrest, knowingly entering or remaining in a building or restricted land without legal authorization, violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds and obstruction of justice / Congress.
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Fisher has been suspended without pay from the police department, according to a press release from the township.
He has a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
In a criminal complaint, officials said Fischer was boasting on his Facebook profile that he stormed the federal building. Under the username SV Spindrift, he posted a video showing him in front of a group of rioters pushing police.
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“The video was accompanied by the text” I made it inside … I received pepper balls and cayenne pepper. The police line was 4 deep … I got to level two … “”, states the complaint.
At one point in the video, according to court documents, the tape recorder appeared to yell “Charge!” The person had a physical encounter with at least one police officer towards the end of the video.
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Officials also reported that Fischer posted several comments on Facebook about the storming of the Capitol building, including “there was minor destruction and a few things were stolen… but 98% peaceful. … I was there … we pushed the police back about 25 feet. I had the pepper balls and the CO sprayed, but entering the capital was necessary to send a message that we the people hold the real power.
In a press release, North Cornwall Police Chief John Leahy said officials learned on Friday morning that a member of the Police Department had been arrested and was facing charges related to the riot in United States Capitol on January 6.
“No canton official was aware of the actions of this individual before his arrest,” the statement said.
However, Fischer, as SV Spindrift, said in a Facebook post the day after the riot that he may need a job, according to the criminal complaint. When asked if his employer had said anything to him, Fischer replied, “Yes … the boss did.”
“I told him that if this is the price I have to pay to express my freedom and the freedoms with which I was born and therefore taken away, then there must be the price …” he wrote in a conversation. “… I told her I had no regrets and wasn’t giving anything (expletive). Sometimes doing the right thing, no matter how small, is more important than your own safety.”
North Cornwall Township Police said they would not answer questions until Monday.
Leahy, in the department’s statement, said the department recognizes every citizen’s right to free speech, “however, every citizen must also be responsible for their actions.”
<< While any citizen accused of a crime must be presumed innocent until his guilt has been established, the township, its elected officials, its police officers and its employees wish to make it clear that the United States of America is a government of laws to which we have sworn. confirm, ”North Cornwall Police said in a statement.
“Neither the Township nor any officer or employee approves, accepts or approves any alleged participation in a crime against the United States of America or any act committed by any individual who may have unlawfully violated the State Capitol. -United January 6, 2021, “the officials wrote.
This article originally appeared on Lebanon Daily News: Pennsylvania Police Officer Arrested in Connection with Capitol Riot