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caption: In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioting supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Historians say Trump’s legacy and his electoral undoing will be largely shaped by rhetoric aimed at stirring his largely white base that tugged at the long-frayed strands of race relations in America.
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In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioting supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Historians say Trump’s legacy and his electoral undoing will be largely shaped by rhetoric aimed at stirring his largely white base that tugged at the long-frayed strands of race relations in America.
Credit: (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Seattle police chief fires two officers for actions at Capitol riots

Seattle has fired two of its own police officers following an investigation that found the officers trespassed onto restricted grounds outside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection on January 6, 2021.

The firings come the same day a Puyallup man pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the riot at the Capitol.

Seattle Officers Caitlin Everett and Alexander Everett were found to be participating in the crowd outside the U.S. Capitol building by trespassing beyond barriers set by U.S. Capitol Police.

"The participation of these two officers in that crowd is a stain on our department, and on the men and women who work every day to protect our community, serve those in need, and do so with compassion and dignity," Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a statement Friday.

"Based on the evidence presented to me and the statement of the officers themselves, I have terminated their employment with the Seattle Police Department, effective immediately."

Diaz further issued an apology to U.S. Capitol Police officers and other local law enforcement members in D.C.

caption: This graphic shows where Seattle police say two of its officers were present during the riot and insurrection at the nation's Capitol in Washington DC on Jan. 6, 2021. It places them beyond barriers set by Capitol police.
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This graphic shows where Seattle police say two of its officers were present during the riot and insurrection at the nation's Capitol in Washington DC on Jan. 6, 2021. It places them beyond barriers set by Capitol police.
Credit: Seattle Police Department

"Clear evidence places them directly next to the Capitol Building," Diaz said. "It is beyond absurd to suggest that they did not know they were in an area where they should not be, amidst what was already a violent, criminal riot."

Seattle Police Department's disciplinary action reports for both officers state that the event in D.C. was declared a riot at 2 p.m. and that the two Seattle Police Department officers arrived at 2:30 p.m.

Both Seattle police officers admitted to trespassing on Jan. 6, but said at the time they were unaware that they were in a restricted area. Both officers denied seeing illegal actions or violence, and said there were no signs stating they were trespassing.

The disciplinary report states that the officers told the Seattle Police Department that they condemn any violent acts that occurred that day, and that they were standing 30 to 50 yards away from the building, where it was peaceful, witnessing no disturbances. However, the report notes the FBI provided photographs of the two standing directly next to the Capitol building as people were climbing a wall in the background, attempting to gain access to the capitol.

The report concludes that the officers' accounts of the day are not credible.

"There were numerous restrictions in place, from visible 'No Trespassing' signs to fence lines staffed by clearly marked officers..." the report states. "Further, the video stills show you standing in the immediate vicinity of the Capitol Building and contradict your claim that you were unaware that you were trespassing or that this was anything other than a peaceful protest. The still footage from the video makes it abundantly clear that you were in direct view of rioters lining the steps and climbing the walls .... You are a police officer who has worked in demonstration management. It defies belief that you could think this situation was 'peaceful' or that you were not on notice that you were trespassing."

Diaz finally notes in the report that if they were at a peaceful political event as they described, no disciplinary action would be necessary, and that this seems to be the case with other Seattle officers present in D.C. that day.

"Had you limited your activities on January 6 to attending a non-violent political rally and speech, you would not be receiving discipline, as is clear from the unsustained findings issued to other employees in this same investigation."

This comes after the Office of Police Accountability released a report last month that found the two officers to have illegally trespassed on Capitol grounds while rioters stormed the building.

Puyallup man is first to plead guilty to charges

The firings come the same day a man from Puyallup, Devlyn Thompson, 28, pleaded guilty to "assaulting, resisting or impeding officers while using a dangerous weapon," according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Thompson — along with Scott Kevin Fairlamb, 44, of Stockholm, New Jersey — are the first to plead guilty, out of more than 170 people who have been charged after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The Department of Justice says that Thompson "was among a crowd of individuals on the lower west terrace who were pushing against and assaulting MPD and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers in the tunnel leading into the U.S. Capitol."

The statement from the Department of Justice goes on to state that Thompson admitted to yelling obscenities at officers while assaulting them inside the tunnel, then throwing objects and projectiles, such as flag poles, at police. The statement also notes he stole an officer's riot shield in an attempt to prevent police from protecting themselves.

"Thompson personally observed police order rioters to stop, physically push the crowd back and deploy pepper spray in an effort to try to stop the ongoing assault. Later, Thompson picked up a metal baton from the floor of the tunnel and swung it overhead and downward against the police line in an apparent effort to knock a can of pepper spray from an officer’s hand and stop the officer from pepper-spraying the rioters. After more pepper spray was deployed by the rioters and the officers, Thompson retreated from the archway area."

Thompson is being held in custody until his sentencing hearing that is scheduled for Sept. 27. He could face up to 20 years in prison, and three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.