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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Capitol Police Officer Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Document Found At Workstation

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Capitol Police suspended an officer Monday after an anti-Semitic document was spotted at his work area, the Washington Post first reported, adding scrutiny to the agency already investigating 35 officers for their alleged roles in the Capitol riot.

Key Facts

At a security checkpoint inside the Capitol, a House staffer on Sunday noticed a copy of the “Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion,” an early 20th century document purporting to show evidence of the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish leaders are plotting to take over the world.

After the Washington Post sent a photograph of the document to the Capitol Police, the agency suspended the officer pending an investigation, a Capitol Police spokesperson confirmed to Forbes.

The “Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion” is still a common source supporting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and the Anti-Defamation League calls it “a classic in paranoid, racist literature.”

According to the Washington Post, the document was printed in January 2019 and appears to be from the website of the Australia-based Bible Believers Church, which frequently reprints anti-Semitic material.

Crucial Quote

“We take all allegations of inappropriate behavior seriously. Once this matter was brought to my attention, I immediately ordered the officer to be suspended until the Office of Professional Responsibility can thoroughly investigate,” Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement.

Key Background

Capitol Police officers have been largely praised for their response to the riots, though a small number are under scrutiny for allegedly encouraging the rioters during the January 6. Six Capitol Police officers have been suspended and 29 more are being investigated for actions during their insurrection. Two officers were suspended, for example, the insurrection after one took a selfie with a rioter, while another wore a Make America Great Again hat and directed people around, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said.

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