Family member, local activist react to Rocky Mount police officers firing

Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson were fired effective Tuesday, Jan. 26

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson are no longer employees of the Rocky Mount Police Department.

Both were fired Tuesday, a few weeks after the photo above of them surfaced on social media, sparking a federal investigation.

10 News tracked down each man’s address and went to see if they’d answer any questions.

At the address listed for Fracker, his mother-in-law answered the door and said that he does not live there.

She didn’t want to talk on-camera but told10 News that it’s not fair how her son-in-law is being portrayed and now he’s lost his job and she has a grandchild who needs to be cared for.

10 News asked her to call Fracker to see if he’d speak, but he did not want to give a statement.

When 10 News tried to contact Robertson, our crew was greeted by “No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Property’ signs.

Bridgette Craighead, a Black Lives Matter activist who first shared the photo of Roberston and Fracker online, said she wants the town manager and police chief to step down too.

“I’m still afraid of what’s to come in the future,” said Craighead. “Being an officer, you have a lot of responsibilities on- and off-duty. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned to all our future officers, integrity is with you on and off the clock.”

The Town of Rocky Mount released a statement that reads:

“The Rocky Mount Police Department has terminated employment for officers Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson effective Tuesday, January 26. The Town has followed the necessary due processes to conclude our review and notify these individuals of this decision. We will continue to assist in the federal investigation as called upon.

It is not our policy to publicly discuss the details of personnel matters; however, the very public nature of this situation does warrant brief comment:

1. We hear those who have communicated their anger and frustration about the actions of these individuals or our response to those actions. There is no playbook for dealing with what occurred on January 6. We have treated the process of review seriously from the beginning and thank those who contributed and in coordinating a response in a quick, objective and lawful manner.

2. We want to reinforce our commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and business, and to upholding the law. Our officers are held to high standards for how they conduct themselves on and off-duty and we are proud of the dedication and sacrifice made to keeping our community safe. The process we have gone through reinforces how seriously we aim to uphold these standards and how important it is to communicate that the department works in the best interest of everyone’s safety.

The events of the past few weeks have been challenging for our town, as they have been for the entire nation. The actions by two have driven our beautiful town into the national spotlight in ways that do not reflect our whole community and the people who call Rocky Mount home. Our town is a patchwork of people rooted to and connected by their love for this area and that is where we want to focus moving forward.”

The Town of Rocky Mount

Fracker and Robertson are set to appear in court again on February 2.

10 News has followed this story closely since it began. Here’s a look at all we’ve published, from newest to oldest:

About the Author

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!

Recommended Videos