WASHINGTON: Some of the rioters who stormed the US Capitol were fired from their jobs on Jan 7 after Internet sleuths publicised their identities.
The District of Columbia police department released photos of people in Wednesday’s melee and potential charges against them. Some 68 people were arrested after angry protesters stormed the building, breaking windows, damaging fixtures and stealing furnishings.
The FBI also asked the public to help it identify rioters, a call that drew ribbing on social media in light of the prolific coverage of the event. This included selfies posted by participants and videos of President Donald Trump’s supporters at area hotels before the attack.
Some individuals who had previously been photographed at Trump rallies and supporters of the QAnon conspiracy-theory movement were quickly identified. Online detectives focused their efforts on others.
“Let’s name and shame them!” read one Twitter thread devoted to outing participants.
One of the people shown in the D.C. police photos wore his work identification badge inside the capitol and was identified and fired by his employer, Navistar Direct Marketing of Fredrick, Maryland.
“While we support all employees' right to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, any employee demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer have an employment opportunity with Navistar Direct Marketing,” the company said in a statement, without naming the man.
Libby Andrews, a real estate agent from Chicago, was fired by @properties and removed from its website, even though she had done nothing wrong and had not entered the capitol, she said in an interview.
“I’m a 56-year-old woman, petite. I was not there causing trouble. I was there to support my president,” said Andrews.
Andrews said she had climbed the steps of the Capitol without encountering security, posted selfies from the scene on Instagram, sang the national anthem and then moved on. Online critics were quick to post negative reviews of her real estate work on a ratings site.
Rick Saccone, an adjunct professor at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, resigned after the college reviewed a video he posted on Facebook from the scene. “As a result of that investigation, Dr Saccone has submitted and we have accepted his letter of resignation, effective immediately,” the college said in a statement.
Saccone, reached by phone, confirmed his resignation and said he did not see acts of violence and never crossed the threshold of the capitol. Saccone said he deleted the video, which could not be viewed on Jan 7.
Paul Davis, a lawyer at Westlake, Texas-based Goosehead Insurance, used a social media account to broadcast his participation at the capitol, saying that he had been teargassed.
A Goosehead spokesperson confirmed Davis had been fired. – AP