Tarik Khalid Johnson is a Capitol police lieutenant who was suspended after putting on a red MAGA hat, but a video shows him convincing Trump supporters to help him save multiple police officers from inside the Capitol building. You can watch the video later in this story.
A report in the Wall Street Journal says Johnson donned the MAGA hat only to trick rioters into letting him usher other officers to safety.
According to the newspaper, Johnson told colleagues the MAGA hat “was a ruse that was part of an unusual plan to rescue more than a dozen trapped police officers.” A witness told the newspaper that Johnson’s actions led to a key door being shut, preventing more rioters from entering the building.
Some people on social media are comparing Tarik Johnson to Eugene Goodman, the heroic officer who led the mob away from the Senate chambers.
According to Roll Call journalist Jennifer Shutt, multiple officers are under investigation. Rep. Tim Ryan said that “there are about 10-15 investigations underway into U.S. Capitol Police officers’ actions during Jan. 6 riots,” she reported.
“The interim chief is taking aggressive action within the department to find out if there was any facilitation or help,” she quoted him as saying. On Twitter, Ryan wrote, “As for disturbing videos we’ve all seen that seem to show some officers letting rioters behind barricades & taking selfies with them: I can assure you these videos are being thoroughly investigated & there will be consequences for any deviations from proper training & protocols.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Video Shows Johnson Convincing Trump Supporters to Help Him Lead Officers to Safety
A video shows the officer wearing a red MAGA hat as he talks to Trump supporters outside the Capitol.
“The people who didn’t go for help are laughing at us,” he says.
“I want to be helpful for you,” a man tells him. Another man in a Trump hat stands near that man.
“You can help me right now. If you guys can help me, I need to get the other officers out. They’re scared,” says the officer.
“Man, I can do that. I can help,” says the other man.
Johnson gave the Trump supporter his megaphone and let him take the lead. “There’s about 10 officers right there,” he says.
The Trump supporter advises, “There’s stairs on the side they can go out.”
They walk up the stairs together.
“We gotcha,” a man says. “I’m with you brother,” says another.
A man puts his hand on the officer’s back as they walk through the crowd. They move toward the open door. “Get inside; make a hole,” says one man.
There’s a crowd of people at the door. “Folks, they’re leaving. Make the hole. The cops are leaving. Make the hole. They are leaving. Let the cops leave,” the men with Johnson say.
Some men create a pathway out. Johnson and the men enter the Capitol. A few minutes later, they leave, with the man with the megaphone followed by Johnson and then a line of riot wearing cops who are then hugged by rioters. “Thank you, sir,” says one. They chant, “USA, USA.”
Heavy contacted Johnson through his Facebook page to seek comment.
Johnson Voted in the Democratic Primary & Is Not a Known Trump Supporter, the Newspaper Says
According to the Wall Street Journal, Johnson, 45, is not known as a Trump supporter around the office; he voted in the Democratic primary in Maryland.
On his Facebook page, Johnson says he worked at Hipnotic Music and United States Capitol Police, studied at Bowie State University, went to Gwynn Park High School, is from Forestville, Maryland, and still lives in Maryland.
His page is devoid of any political posts. Instead, they show him with his young children and his father. “Love being a father,” he wrote.
Capitol Police Are Reviewing the Incident
Lt. Tarik Khalid Johnson was suspended for wearing a MAGA hat inside of the Capitol during the riot, but he claims he wore it to win the trust of rioters whose help he enlisted to rescue his colleagues inside the building https://t.co/GZdva5pYYc pic.twitter.com/07d7c68mPO
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 16, 2021
The Capitol Police told the Hill in a statement that they are “actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies. Our Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating these behaviors for disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination.”
“Several USCP officers have already been suspended pending the outcome of their investigations.”
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