ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – “We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day.”
That’s part of the joint statement released by Rocky Mount Chief of Police Ken Criner, Police Captain Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin on Thursday evening.
The statement comes after the federal arrest of two Rocky Mount police officers, Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson.
The charges against both men stem from the picture above, which was taken inside the U.S. Capitol on the day the building was stormed.
Fracker and Robertson now each face a charge of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and a charge of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Thursday’s statement from Rocky Mount leaders is the first time they’ve named the two officers.
Below you can read the statement in its entirety:
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, two officers with the Rocky Mount Police Department were arrested on federal charges stemming from the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. We want to offer clarification on our response, the actions that have been taken by our department and our next steps.
First, the Rocky Mount Police Department takes this matter very seriously. The recent events that have taken place at our U.S. Capitol are tragic. We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day. Our Town and our Police Department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behavior by anyone, including our officers and staff. To the families of those whose lives were taken too soon, and all those shaken by the events over the past week, we are mourning with you and actively working to do our part in helping federal investigators do their jobs.
Upon learning that two off-duty Rocky Mount police officers, Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, were in the Capitol Building on January 6, a report was filed by our department with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to launch a formal investigation in connection to the protest and riot that occurred and the presence of these individuals.
Earlier this week, Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson were arrested by federal authorities and charged with one count each of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count each of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The incident is still unfolding as it is a complex investigation.
We want to affirm that our department has and will continue to follow strict protocols for investigating and responding to allegations of officer misconduct. We understand that this process can seem frustrating from the outside, but we are committed to supporting a professional and thorough investigation to determine the facts. As more information becomes available, we will update the public.Joint Statement from Rocky Mount Chief of Police Ken Criner, Police Captain Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin