Two Seattle police officers are under investigation over their alleged roles in the deadly Capitol Hill riots after they were photographed at the pro-Trump rally.
Police chief Adrian Diaz on Friday confirmed two cops have been placed on administrative leave as department officials conduct a probe into their actions.
Diaz in a statement said the SPD was made aware that at least two officers were in Washington D.C. on Wednesday and confirmed they would be ‘immediately’ terminated if they were found to have been directly involved in the insurrection.
‘The Department fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the US Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer,’ Diaz said.
‘The OPA [Office of Police Accountability] will investigate whether any SPD policies were violated and if any potential illegal activities need to be referred for criminal investigation.’
The investigation comes after allegations emerged on social media that members of law enforcement had taken part in the violent protests.
OPA civilian director Andrew Myerberg told the Seattle Times the department became aware of photo circulating on social media that showed the officers at the 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,’ Myerberg said.
‘The fundamental question will be, “Is being present at the rally in and of itself a violation of department policy?”
‘And I just don’t know that yet. I think it really depends on what they did and what their role was in those events,’ he added.
A SPD spokesperson on Friday confirmed the officers, who have not yet been named, were not on duty at the time.
It comes as authorities continue to search for dozens of suspects that were seen causing damage to the Capitol building in a violent protest that left five people dead.
Authorities have already arrested more than 80 rioters who breached the Capitol building, scaled the Senate and House Chambers, vandalized statues, fired tear gas and defaced property.
Fifty-five are being pursued on federal charges, authorities say.
Dozens more, who were labeled as ‘great patriots’ by President Trump, are still yet to be identified. So far, the FBI has identified and released photos of about 40 people they need help tracking down.