Capitol police officer wore MAGA hat to convince Donald Trump supporters to help him rescue trapped cops: Video
Johnson reportedly told colleagues that the MAGA hat 'was a ruse that was part of an unusual plan to rescue more than a dozen trapped police officers'
A Capitol police lieutenant who was suspended for wearing a MAGA hat at the riots earlier this month grabbed headlines once again today after a video showed him convincing Trump supporters to save the lives of multiple police officers from inside the Capitol building. "Tarik Khalid Johnson wore the MAGA hat to trick violent protesters into letting him usher a number of officers to safety," the Wall Street Journal reported. Johnson reportedly told colleagues that the MAGA hat “was a ruse that was part of an unusual plan to rescue more than a dozen trapped police officers.” Nonetheless, several Trump supporters aided him in rescuing his trapped colleagues.
Speaking to the newspaper, an anonymous witness claimed Johnson's actions led to a key door being shut -- thereby obstructing more rioters from entry to the building. Multiple officers are under investigation for their actions on January 6, according to Roll Call journalist Jennifer Shutt. She quoted Rep. Tim Ryan saying there "are about 10-15 investigations underway into U.S. Capitol Police officers’ actions during Jan. 6 riots."
“The interim chief is taking aggressive action within the department to find out if there was any facilitation or help,” Ryan reportedly said. “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," the Ohio Democrat wrote on Twitter.
The officer is seen on video donning a red MAGA hat as he strikes a conversation with 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 is heard telling him. “You can help me right now. If you guys can help me, I need to get the other officers out. They’re scared,” the officer says.
“Man, I can do that. I can help,” another Trump supporter adds. Accepting his offer for help, Johnson gives him his megaphone and lets him take the lead. “There’s about 10 officers right there,” he tells the man. “There’s stairs on the side they can go out," the Trump supporter, who wasn't identified, tells Johnson. “We gotcha,” a man says. “I’m with you brother,” adds another. The officer is led through the crowd flanked by Trump supporters as they move toward the open door of the Capitol. “Get inside; make a hole,” one man says, referring to the 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 are heard saying.
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
A pathway is created for Johnson and the men to enter the Capitol. Moments later, the man with the megaphone emerges out of the building followed by Johnson and a line of riot-gear-wearing cops, who are then hugged by Trump supporters. “Thank you, sir,” one says, before a group chants, “USA, USA.”
In a statement to The Hill, the Capitol Police said 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."