Fact Check: Crimes WERE Committed, Arrests WERE Made Inside Capitol Building On January 6, 2021

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Crimes WERE Committed, Arrests WERE Made Inside Capitol Building On January 6, 2021 Arrests Made

Was nobody arrested inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021? No, that's not true: People were arrested inside the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, and they have been charged with crimes including "entering a restricted building and violent and disorderly conduct." A rhetorical question posted on Facebook revolves around a false statement and a problematic assumption. It is true there were relatively few arrests on that day but this does not mean there were no arrests inside the Capitol or -- as the claim's question implies -- no laws broken. In the 18 months since January 6, 2021, and this writing, 855 defendants have been arrested and charged with crimes.

The rhetorical question appeared in a post on the Facebook page Diamond And Silk on July 13, 2022. It reads:

Why was nobody arrested inside of the Capitol on January 6th if a crime was being committed?

This is how the post appeared at the time of writing:
(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Jul 13 21:40:40 2022 UTC)

The U.S. attorney's office in the District of Columbia maintains a "Capitol Breach Investigation Resource Page." On July 6, 2022, the website released an update titled "18 Months Since the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol" that provides statistics on the investigation and court proceedings. Some 855 defendants, who come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, have been arrested. The charges are broken down in the report this way:

  • Approximately 263 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including approximately 90 individuals who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.
    • Approximately 140 police officers were assaulted Jan. 6 at the Capitol, including about 80 U.S. Capitol Police and about 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • Approximately 11 individuals have been arrested on a series of charges that relate to assaulting a member of the media, or destroying their equipment, on Jan. 6.
  • Approximately 747 defendants have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds. Over 80 additional defendants have been charged with entering a restricted area with a dangerous or deadly weapon.
  • More than 50 defendants have been charged with destruction of government property, and approximately 35 defendants have been charged with theft of government property.
  • More than 280 defendants have been charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.
  • Approximately 50 defendants have been charged with conspiracy, either: (a) conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding, (b) conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement during a civil disorder, (c) conspiracy to injure an officer, or (d) some combination of the three.

Information about the arrests made on January 6, 2021, can be found in a January 7, 2021, press release from the U.S. Capitol Police. It lists 14 people. Not all 14 were arrested inside the Capitol Building; at least three were arrested outside. Six people who were arrested at the same time inside the building were charged on four counts:

  1. Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(1)
  2. Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(2)
  3. Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building, in violation of Title 40, United States Code, Section 5104(e)(2)(A)
  4. Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building, in violation of Title 40, United States Code, Section 5104(e)(2)(G)

A January 15, 2021, article in usatoday.com titled, "Capitol riot arrests: See who's been charged across the U.S." is continuing to be updated with small summaries of the circumstances of each case. Searching for the arrest date "1/6/2021," the article shows 14 results. The entry for Hunter A. Ehmke gives some idea what the Capitol Police officers were up against. It explains:

An officer outside the Capitol rotunda door observed Ehmke strike and break a window while standing on a ledge as a mob of people approached, according to court records. Using his shield, the officer knocked Ehmke off the ledge and other officers handcuffed him. They took his name, photo and driver's license but were overwhelmed by the throng of people, including one who said, 'You're not leaving with him.' The officers released Ehmke but kept his license. He was charged Jan. 11.

Additional arrests were made by the Metropolitan Police Department, and are compiled in a document titled, "Unrest Related Arrest Data" which covers May 30, 2020, to April 17, 2021. The arrests made on January 6, 2021, appear on pages 14-16 of the PDF document. Most of the charges include "curfew violation" but many also include "unlawful entry," and several include weapons charges.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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