Lebanon County police officer arrested for alleged involvement in U.S. Capitol riots

Lebanon

NORTH CORNWALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A North Cornwall Township Police officer has been arrested in connection to the riots at the United States Capitol.

The FBI arrested Joseph Fischer at the North Cornwall Township Police Department on Friday.

The township’s website lists Fischer as a patrolman for the department.

According to charging documents, the FBI found Fisher’s Facebook page following the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th.

The documents said Fischer had posted a nearly three-minute video which showed people charging the Capitol and confronting police.

The documents also said Fischer posted on Facebook that “entry into the Capitol was needed to send a message that we the people hold the real power.”

The FBI said they also found an exchange Fischer had with an unidentified person on Facebook where he said the North Cornwall Township Police Chief said something to him about the incident. In the exchange, Fischer said, “I told him I have no regrets.”

That exchange seems to contradict a statement sent out by the North Cornwall Township Police Department following Fischer’s arrest.

The statement said, “no township official had any knowledge of this individual’s actions prior to his arrest”.

ABC 27 News reached out to the North Cornwall Township Police Chief, John Leahy, but didn’t hear a response from him prior to 6 p.m.

The statement from North Cornwall Township said Fischer has been suspended without pay.

Fischer is in the Dauphin County Prison.

He has a preliminary hearing / detention hearing on February 23rd.

Here is the full statement from the North Cornwall Township Police Department:

“North Cornwall Township was made aware that, earlier this morning, a member of its police force was arrested by the FBI on charges stemming from the January 06, 2021 incident that occurred at the United States Capitol building.  No Township official had any knowledge of this individual’s actions prior to his arrest.

The Township recognizes every citizen’s right to free speech; however, each citizen must also be accountable for his or her actions.  Accordingly, as required by the Pennsylvania Confidence in Law Enforcement Act, the police officer was immediately suspended without pay pending the disposition of these charges.

While every citizen accused of a crime must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the Township, its elected officials, its police officers, and its employees wish to make clear that the United States of America is a government of laws which we are sworn to uphold.  Neither the township nor any officer or employee endorses, accepts, or condones any alleged participation in a crime against the United States of America nor any act committed by an individual who may have illegally breached the United States Capitol on January 06, 2021.

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