Seattle’s police chief says two city officers were apparently in Washington, D.C., Wednesday when a violent protest of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the nation’s Capitol and that an investigation will be launched to find out whether they committed criminal acts.
The officers, who were not identified, have been placed on administrative leave.
In a statement late Friday, Adrian Diaz, the city’s interim chief, said the department supports constitutionally protected free speech, “but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer.”
Diaz said the matter has been forwarded to the Office of Police Accountability, the city’s independent police watchdog, to see if department policies were violated or if illegal activity involving Seattle officers needs to be investigated.
“If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them,” Diaz said.
Andrew Myerberg, the Office of Police Accountability’s civilian director, told The Seattle Times his office was informed about the matter Thursday night.
“There’s a picture that circulated on social media of the two officers at the protest rally. So, yes, we believe they were there, but we don’t know all the facts yet, so that’s why we’re doing the investigation,” he said, adding investigators will also try to find out if any other Seattle officers may have attended or participated in Wednesday’s events.