Two off-duty Virginia cops, after posing for photos during riot, busted for roles in U.S. Capitol insurrection, retired PA firefighter also arrested

Larry McShane, New York Daily News

A pair of Virginia law enforcers-turned-lawbreakers face federal charges for joining the violent U.S. Capitol insurrection — and sharing an Instagram photo where one brazenly stood with a raised middle finger, authorities said.

Officer Thomas Robertson posed while flipping the bird alongside along fellow cop Jacob Facker as the duo stood before a statue of Revolutionary War hero John Stark while rioters stormed the Capitol, according to court documents that included the now-viral photo.

A retired Pennsylvania firefighter was also arrested Thursday for throwing a fire extinguisher at three Capitol Police officers in an attack unrelated to the death of Officer Brian Sicknick, killed after taking an extinguisher to the head, authorities said. A video of the incident led police to ex-firefighter Robert Sanford of Chester, Pa.

The two Rocky Mountain, Va., officers were arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of entering the Capitol without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. And neither was apologetic about their roles in the Jan. 6 rioting that followed a raucous gathering of President Trump’s supporters, who stormed the Capitol after an inflammatory address by the commander-in-chief.

“Here’s the picture in question and I am f---ing PROUD of it,” Robertson posted on Instagram. “It shows 2 men willing to actually put skin in the game and stand up for their rights. If you are too much of a coward to risk arrest, being fired, and actual gunfire to secure your rights, you have no words to speak (that) I value.”

Court documents alleged that Robertson, who asserted that he was let inside by Capitol Police, boasted via social media that he had “attacked the government ... took the f---ing Capitol.” The same paperwork quoted Fracker’s Facebook post where he denied any crime.

“Sorry I hate freedom?” he wrote. “Y’all do what you feel you need to.”

Former first responder Sanford faces three felony charges — including assaulting a police officer — after he was identified as the man who flung a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol cops. The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. as the rioters breached the security surrounding the building where Congress was gathering to debate Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud.