Online police communities are rife with conspiracy theories and support for riot

Gruesome footage shows rioters in MAGA hats brandishing “Stop the Steal” signs and Trump flags dragging an unidentified officer by his helmet and beating him to chants of “Get him!” and “Take him out!” Another video shows the massive crowd crushing a young cop into a metal doorway as he screams and bleeds from his mouth. Brian Sicknick, the slain 15-year veteran of the Capitol Police department, was reportedly bludgeoned in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Inside cops-only message boards and other pro-law enforcement media groups online, police officers are grappling with how a group that usually proclaims “Blue Lives Matter” could turn its wrath on them. Instead of facing the uncomfortable implications of the siege, many are pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that the chaos was orchestrated by anti-fascist activists who disguised themselves in a scheme to make the president and his base look bad…

At least 13 law enforcement personnel from eight states reportedly attended the riot and are under investigation for their alleged roles in the unrest — including a police chief and an officer wearing a hat with the text, “Trump 2020; Fuck your Feelings.” Many former cops joined the mob, too; a retired Oakland officer who rioted told local media that the insurrectionists would accept the legal consequences of their actions if “the Democrats who committed fraud take the criminal charges of treason.” A former North Miami Beach officer even livestreamed from inside the Capitol, telling his viewers, “The people give the power. And we’re here to take it back.”