A Pennsylvania police officer was charged Friday for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Joseph Fischer, a patrolman at the North Cornwall Township Police Department, has been charged with four federal crimes: obstruction of law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of Congress.
The charges came after Fischer posted a video of himself on Facebook running at a police line outside the capital while yelling, “Charge!” He also could be heard yelling, “Hold the line” and “Motherfuckers,” according to a criminal complaint. “Made it inside,” Fischer wrote in a message accompanying the video. “Received pepper balls and pepper sprayed.” Fischer had “a physical encounter with at least one police officer,” notes the document. Fischer posted the video on an account under the name “SV Spindrift.” Law enforcement requested information on the account from Facebook and was able to conclude it belonged to Fischer.
A day after the Capirol riot, Fischer exchanged messages with another user on Facebook in which he recognized that his participation in the insurrection could cost him his job. In the message, Fischer said he “may need a job” because “word got out that I was at the rally…lol.” He added “the FBI may arrest me…lol.” Fischer goes on to say he was confronted by his superior about his participation. “I told him if that is the price I have to pay to voice my freedom and liberties which I was born with and thusly taken away then then must be the price,” he allegedly wrote. “I told him I have no regrets and give zero shits.”
In a statement to local NBC affiliate WGAL, North Cornwall Township Police Department said that “no township official had any knowledge of this individual’s actions prior to his arrest.” Fischer “was immediately suspended without pay pending the disposition of these charges.” At least 230 people have been charged for their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.