Rocky Mount residents deny involvement in Capitol riot, ask judge to let them carry guns again.
WASHINGTON D.C.- Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson want to carry guns again. The two former Rocky Mount police officers, who stand accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, asked a federal judge Thursday to lift their current ban.
The attorney for 29-year-old Fracker, who worked with Rocky Mount’s K-9 unit, told Judge Christopher Cooper it was a safety issue. His client arrested many people who live near his house. Fracker just wants to protect himself, attorney Bernard Crane said.
A federal grand jury indicted both men on four charges earlier this month. That includes one count each of entering and remaining in a restricted building, along with disorderly conduct in the Capitol. Also, obstruction of an official proceeding, along with disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building. Fracker and Robertson both argue that they’re innocent. They acknowledge walking into the Capitol, but say they didn’t take part in any of the violence. As a result, both attorneys issued not guilty pleas during Thursday’s hearing.
The no firearms restriction was part of the deal that allowed both men to return home. The federal magistrate at the time said they couldn’t keep fireworks at home, they had to turn over all passports and they can’t travel out of the Western District of Virginia. Both men also can’t join any type of public assembly or protest.
Judge Cooper said he wasn’t willing to lift that ban right now. However, he would be willing to go over a written request and discuss it at the next hearing in April.
Denying Any Involvement
Robertson previously served as an Army infantryman before joining the Rocky Mount Police Department. Fracker meanwhile was still an active duty National Guard member on Jan. 6. After a town investigation, both men were terminated last month by Rocky Mount. On Thursday, their attorneys both re-entered not guilty pleas, while asking that all video and body camera footage the prosecution had be turned over.
While they both deny any involvement in the Jan. 6 attack, warrants and documents from the FBI detail multiple times where the men claimed to have taken part in the attack. In one message to a friend on Facebook, Fracker said “it was f****** amazing. Flash bangs going off, CS gas, rubber bullets flying by. Felt so good to be back in the s*** hahaha. I was like 8th person inside the building. S*** was f****** LIT.”
In another message, Fracker tells a friend “I haven’t been that hyped up since f****** Nowzad hahaha.”
Nowzad is a town within Nawzad District, Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Fracker previously spent time in Afghanistan while in the military.
Robertson also made multiple comments on Facebook that FBI agents and Capitol Police pulled. On Dec. 19, 2020, he stated “I won’t be disenfranchised. I’ll follow the path our founders gave us. Redress of grievances (already done) civil disobedience (here now) and then open armed rebellion. I’ve spent the last 10 years fighting an insurgency in Iraq and then Afghanistan. I’m prepared to start one here and know a bunch of like minded and trained individuals.”
Then on Jan. 8, he wrote “The next revolution started in DC 1/6/21. The only voice these people will now listen to is VIOLENCE. So,respectfully. Buckle armor or just stay at home.”
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Telling a Different Story
In multiple statements to media, Robertson tells a different story, however. He claims the two men 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, specifically one left after the attack.
“CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business,” Robertson 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.”
Veloz questioned how Robertson 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 [email protected].
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