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Tags: capitol police | january 6 | protester | obstruction

Capitol Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Jan. 6-Related Obstruction Charges

patch of capitol police
(Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 October 2021 12:59 PM

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly urging a protester to remove incriminating posts following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, The Hill reported.

Michael Angelo Riley, 50, was charged Friday with the two counts, which carry a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison. He pleaded not guilty during a preliminary court appearance Tuesday, The Hill said.

Riley, a 25-year veteran of the Capitol Police, serves on a K-9 unit. He was accused of reaching out on Facebook to someone who had posted images of the Capitol assault.

"Hey [Person 1], im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance," Riley allegedly wrote in a Facebook direct message. "Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to charged. Just looking out!"

Charging documents identify the message’s intended recipient only as "Person 1."

The indictment spells out how Riley, who responded to a report of a pipe bomb on Jan. 6, sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos, and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify attackers.

Riley was charged with one count for allegedly persuading Person 1 to delete their social media posts, and another count for deleting all of his correspondence with Person 1.

"Obstruction of Justice is a very serious allegation," Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement, The Washington Post reported.

Manger said the force was notified several weeks ago about the investigation. Riley was placed on administrative leave Thursday pending completion of the case, after which he would be subject to internal investigation.

Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the union representing Capitol Police officers, issued a statement urging people to allow the judicial process to proceed "before rendering a judgment on this officer," the Post reported.

A federal prosecutor Tuesday said Riley had not been offered a plea deal, and did not indicate whether one would be forthcoming, The Hill reported.

Riley was released on his own recognizance Friday and directed not to contact certain people that prosecutors say are involved in the case.

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A U.S. Capitol Police officer has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly urging a protester to remove incriminating posts following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Michael Angelo Riley...
capitol police, january 6, protester, obstruction
368
2021-59-19
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 12:59 PM
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