‘Are You Undercover?’ Watch Police Detain Suspicious Man with Badge and Gun at DC Protest
17:44 GMT 19.09.2021 (Updated: 18:17 GMT 19.09.2021)
© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNSTA police officer escorts a person during a rally in support of defendants being prosecuted in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 18, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST
Several hundred protesters descended on Washington, DC on Saturday to express their support for the hundreds of people arrested and charged in the aftermath of the 6 January violence at the Capitol. No violence was reported, but four arrests were made.
Independent journalist Ford Fischer has captured footage of Saturday’s ‘Justice for J6’ rally showing Capitol Police speaking to an unidentified man carrying a gun and a badge.
The footage shows a dozen or more Capitol Police officers in riot gear surrounding a masked individual in white sunglasses and all-black attire.
One of the officers is then seen putting his hand into the man’s right pocket and taking out a black leather badge holder with a gold badge.
“Are you undercover? Or are you part of the event,” the officer asks. The man shakes his head ‘no’, and says “I’m just here.” The unidentified individual then tells the officer that he has a handgun. According to Fischer, the gun was not taken from him and the individual was not handcuffed as he was led away.
“Where do you want to take him,” the officer asks, at one point, speaking to a colleague out of frame, and orders police to form a diamond formation surrounding the masked individual, asking bystanders to “move back, move back".
People gathered around the mystery individual can be heard repeatedly asking him and police for his name and whether he wants to make a statement. The man does not answer, and is escorted out of the security perimeter. The individual is taken towards a vehicle, as dozens of police officers in riot gear continue to descend on the area.
Capitol Police confirmed in a tweet that the incident took place, saying that at approximately 13:30, an eyewitness “spotted what appeared to be a handgun on a man in the crowd” and told officers, who detained him. “At this time, it is not clear why the man was at the demonstration”. Police were said to have charged him with US Code Title 40, section 5104, ‘unlawful activities’, a broad range of misdemeanor offenses punishable by a fine, up to six months in prison, or both.
The man did have a gun.— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) September 18, 2021
Police have not provided any further information regarding the individual’s identity or what he was doing at the event.
A Sputnik correspondent at the scene estimated that about 200 people gathered for the Justice for J6 rally. Along with the mystery individual, at least three other people were arrested, two of them for felony extraditable warrants, and another for a probation violation. Capitol Police reported that about 400 to 450 people attended the march, among them counterprotesters from various movements, including Antifa.
The Justice for J6 rally was organised by Look Ahead America, a group supporting former president Donald Trump, with the event meaning to bring public attention to the estimated 570 people arrested, detained and charged with crimes related to the 6 January violence at the Capitol.
On 6 January 2021, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol complex in a desperate attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the November 2020 presidential election, which Trump earlier alleged had been stolen from him by voting machine manipulation and mail-in ballot dumps in key swing states. Five people died in the riots, and dozens more, including 138 police officers, were injured. At least four police officers who responded to the protesters subsequently took their own life for reasons which remain unknown.
Democratic lawmakers used the events of 6 January as a pretext to try to bar Trump from politics permanently by impeaching him a second time. However, the Senate acquitted Trump in February, after he was already out of office.
In June, citing court documents referring to nearly two dozen mystery ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ in a court filing against suspects involved in the riots, Fox News host Tucker Carlson alleged that FBI operatives may have helped to organise, coordinate and orchestrate the events of 6 January.