PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police have launched an internal affairs investigation into the activities of one of its detectives, after social media posts suggested she attended a Trump rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, the day rioters stormed the Capitol. A source close to the police department confirmed the detective under investigation is a woman, but the department is not confirming her name.
Supporters of President Donald Trump held what they called the “Save America March” outside of the White House Wednesday, ahead of Congress’ counting of the electoral votes certifying Joe Biden as the nation’s next president.
Trump spoke at the rally and encouraged the thousands in attendance to march to the Capitol and express their opposition to the election results. Once marchers arrived, chaos ensued as mobs were captured in images and video overwhelming Capitol Police, scaling the complex, and breaking windows and doors to gain entry to the building.
The City of Philadelphia does have detailed policies governing the political activity of its employees, including police officers. As long as they are not on-duty, in uniform, on city property, using city resources or their city title, police officers may attend political fundraisers or rallies as spectators. They may also talk about their personal political opinions, including on social media. They cannot, however, hold any role in support of a political candidate, party, campaign or partisan political group.
A Philadelphia Police spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the department is not aware of any other employees, in addition to the detective under investigation, who may have attended Wednesday’s demonstrations in D.C.
On Twitter Saturday, City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson, D-At Large, expressed her concern on the issue writing: “We need to know if any law enforcement official who is sworn to protect and serve or any city employee attended the riot turned insurrection… I will be following up!”
We need to know if any law enforcement official who is sworn to protect and serve or ANY city employee attended the riot turned insurrection… I will be following up! Cc: @PoliceReformWG https://t.co/fYVPGUjWfJ
— CouncilmemberKGR (@CouncilwomanKGR) January 9, 2021
The police department’s statement on the internal investigation reads:
“At this time, we are aware of social media posts that allege that a PPD detective may have been in attendance at the events on Washington, DC on January 6th. An IAB investigation has been opened to determine if any PPD policies were violated by the detective and if they participated in any illegal activities while in attendance. The Detective’s assignment has been changed pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Eyewitness News reached out to the Fraternal Order of Police, but a spokesperson declined to comment Sunday evening.
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