Monday, January 11, 2021

Local police around the country face heat for attending Capitol protest, riot; hacked Parler data could help ID them

"Police officers and at least one police chief from departments across the United States are facing termination, suspension or other discipline for their proximity to or alleged involvement in a chaotic gathering in Washington on Wednesday that ended in a riot at the U.S. Capitol and left five people dead," Kim Bellware reports for The Washington Post.

Some officers at the protest and/or the riot are from rural areas or small towns. For example, Police Chief David Ellis of Troy, N.H., has been criticized for his presence at the protest, though Ellis has denounced the rioting and treatment of Capitol police, Mia Summerson reports for the Keene Sentinel

Jason Riddle, a former corrections officer and mail carrier from Keene, was also present that day. "Riddle said he went to D.C. to participate in the protest, believing the election had been stolen from Trump. But despite being among those who entered the Capitol, and posting photos on Facebook, he described the violence he witnessed inside as 'chaos,'" Summerson reports. Riddle posted on Facebook that he plans to run for local office soon.

Two off-duty police officers from Rocky Mount, Va., were identified in riot photos, sparking a Black Lives Matter protest Sunday, Luanne Rife, Mike Allen and Karen Dillon report for The Roanoke Times. The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while their department investigates.

Journalists soon may be able to see whether local law enforcement or other prominent local figures were at the protest or riot, or whether they were advocating violence online. A hacker reportedly archived almost all posts made on Parler Jan. 6, the day of the riot, Dell Cameron reports for Gizmodo. The hacker got virtually all of the content, including posts, deleted posts, the personal information required to register for an account, direct messages, and videos posted by users with GPS coordinates embedded in the data files. That identifies the whereabouts of posters who made the videos.

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