Thomas Robertson posted on Facebook that he was about to become part of a counter-insurgency.
ROCKY MOUNT-Federal officials took two Rocky Mount police officers into custody Wednesday, charging them in connection with the Capitol attack. Both men were identified from a photo they posted of social media, showing they were inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. One also posted on social media they were “2 men willing to actually put skin in the game and stand up for their rights.”
According to the criminal complaint, Thomas Robertson and Jacob Fracker face two charges. Federal officials charged the men with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Officials also charged them with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The Rocky Mount Police Department said they’re still investigating the issue.
“Two Rocky Mount Police Department officers were charged by federal authorities with misdemeanors stemming from their presence at an event in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021,” police officials said in a Wednesday statement. “The Town’s review of this matter is ongoing and the officers remain on administrative leave.”
The 47-year-old Robertson is a patrol sergeant with the department. Fracker, 29, works with the K9 unit.
What Happened at the Capitol
Robertson and Fracker arrived in Washington D.C. Jan. 6 to first take part in a rally involving President Donald Trump. At that rally, Trump again claimed Democrats stole the election from him. There hasn’t been any evidence supporting this claim. Despite this, he told his supporters gathered on Jan. 6 they should march to the Capitol. They did exactly that.
The group stormed the US Capitol, injuring several police officers, killing one and temporarily taking control of parts of the Capitol building. The attack came as Congress was voting to certify the electoral college count from the 2020 presidential election.
Brian Sicknick, a 42-year-old Virginia resident and member of the Capitol Police, died from injuries sustained while defending the Capitol.
Both Robertson and Fracker posted material on social media after the attack. Fracker has deleted his Facebook account while Robertson made his private. However Dogwood got screenshots of multiple posts before that happened. The two men took a picture of themselves standing in the Capitol Crypt on Jan. 6, in front of the John Stark statue. The crypt is directly beneath the Capitol rotunda. Robertson showed the picture in response to a comment on Fracker’s page. He said he was proud of it.
“It shows 2 men willing to actually put skin in the game and stand up for their rights,” Robertson wrote. “If you are too much of a coward to risk arrest, being fired and actual gunfire to secure your rights, you have no words to speak I value. Enjoy your feel good protests and fame. I’ll simply accept a “Thank you” for the very blanket of freedom that you live and sleep under.”
Part of a Counter-Insurgency
Robertson also posted on his own Facebook page.
“CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business,” he wrote. “The Left rioted all Summer and just burned their own neighborhoods, assaulted numerous civilians, and destroyed and looted small family owned stores. The Right IN ONE DAY (without weapons) took the f***ing US Capitol. Keep poking us.”
He followed that up with a bigger declaration. The former Army infantryman explained why he felt this was necessary.
“A legitimate republic stands on 4 boxes,” he wrote. “The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and then the cartridge box. We just moved to step 3. Step 4 will not be pretty. I cannot speak for others, but being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line. I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. I’m about to become part of one, and a very effective one.”
Meanwhile, according to the Capitol Police’s statement of facts, Fracker wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post that “lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around. Sorry I hate freedom? Sorry I fought hard for it and lost friends for it? Not like I did anything illegal. WAY too much to lose to go there but y’all do what you feel you need to.”
Capitol Police Weigh In
In multiple statements to media, Robertson said he and Fracker did nothing wrong. He claimed they were escorted into the Capitol building by Capitol Police, given bottles of water and allowed to look around. In the statement of facts, Vincent Velez, special agent with the Capitol Police, pointed out several contradictions in that argument.
Robertson and Fracker couldn’t enter the Capitol legally, Veloz pointed out.
“At that time and date, the United States Capitol was on lockdown,” Veloz wrote. “The defendants’ presence inside was without lawful authority.”
Veloz also referred to Robertson’s social media posts, questioning how he could both claim to be attacking the government and visiting the Capitol legally.
“Robertson made these claims notwithstanding his previous posts that he had “attacked the government” and “took the f****** Capitol,” Veloz wrote.
Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.