Capitol Police Make Four Arrests at 'Justice for J6' Protest
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Capitol Police Make Four Arrests Surrounding ‘Justice for J6’ Rally in Support of Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Breach

 (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images.)

Police stand guard as demonstrators gather for the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C., on September 18, 2021.  (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images.)

The U.S. Capitol Police on Saturday announced several arrests surrounding a protest over the treatment of various individuals connected to the Jan. 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol Complex more than eight months ago.

One of the arrestees was a man who “appeared to” have brought a “handgun” into the crowds at the demonstration.  Multiple news organizations said the rally occurred under the eye of a massive police presence — and that it was mostly peaceful.

“At 1:30 pm, someone spotted what appeared to be a handgun on a man in the crowd,” The Capitol Police said on Twitter. “The witness told USCP officers, who detained the suspect. At this time, it is not clear why the man was at the demonstration. Officers charged him with 40 U.S. Code § 5104 – Unlawful activities.”

“The man did have a gun,” the Capitol Police subsequently tweeted.

The Capitol Police also tweeted during the mid-afternoon hours that their arrest count was four in total.

The fourth arrest apparently involved another weapons violation involving a knife.

Though the Capitol Police tweets suggested a link between all four arrests and the pro-Jan. 6th demonstration, Washington, D.C. NBC affiliate WRC-TV cautioned that it was not directly clear from the Capitol Police tweets whether all of the individuals arrested were actually in attendance at the so-called “Justice for J6” event itself.

Protesters and counter-protesters were present around the capitol on Saturday, according to the police and various news reports. But the authorities said they were mostly able to keep the ideologically opposed groups from clashing.

Security around the capitol complex and around the U.S. Supreme Court was tight leading up to, during, and after the planned events.

The precise identities of the arrestees was not immediately available.

Washington Times reporter Emily Zantow captured video she described as showing the police “surround[ing] a man and escort[ing] him away” from the rally. It is unclear from the context of the video why the man was being detained or if he was one of the four individuals referenced by the Capitol Police as being placed under official arrest.

WRC-TV also captured video which showed the police appearing to separate a man with a megaphone from others in his vicinity.  The authorities deftly deflated the situation and at one point quickly positioned their bicycles to protect the man from being swarmed.  The man’s identity was also unclear.  It did not appear he was being arrested or charged.

Reuters captured video of a similar police tactic which appeared to have been deployed to protect a counter-protester.

News photographers captured other images of the police holding back counter-protesters and allowing the core demonstration to continue.

The Washington Post reported that the right-wing advocates, candidates, and protesters who came to take part in the demonstration were “dwarfed by hundreds of police officers and news reporters” present to observe and record the event. The Post added that the protest “unfolded with relative peace and quiet” from the perspective of its staffers on the ground.

“The afternoon settled into a predictable cycle, as reporters swarmed to minor altercations or police inquiries that quickly evaporated,” the Post noted.

One of the protesters present on Saturday, Eugene Sibick of Upstate New York, told the Post that his son Thomas Sibick remained jailed over the original Jan. 6th events.  He said his son’s detention was “a disgrace to this country” and complained about the food his son was being provided in jail.

“There were things that happened last summer in Seattle and Portland that were more egregious than what happened here, and those people were let out,” the detained man’s father told the Post.

As Law&Crime has previously reported, Thomas Sibick is one of three men charged with attacking a U.S. Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6th.

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now a Senior Editor for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.