A rioter who stormed the US Capitol Wednesday wearing a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt has been identified as a former welder from Virginia with a criminal record for forgery.
Robert Keith Packer was identified by CNN as the man photographed wearing the ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt at the riot, referencing the most infamous Nazi concentration camp, where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II.
The sweatshirt featured skull and crossbones and appeared to read ‘work brings freedom” – a translation of the German phrase on the camp’s gates; ‘Arbeit macht frei’.
A Virigina resident described Packer as having ‘extreme’ beliefs while another described him as an ‘off-beat’ character.
Packer, described as a former welder and pipe-fitter, has a criminal record for driving under the influence and a felony conviction for forging public records.
One of those pictured at the Capitol Wednesday wore a racist t-shirt which read ‘Camp Auschwitz’
Dozens of people have already been arrested and prosecutors across the U.S. have vowed to bring to justice those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, sending lawmakers into hiding as they began their work to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The group included white nationalists, neo-Nazis and QAnon conspiracy theorists, coming from states as far-flung as Arizona and Oregon.
The FBI is now asking for help in tracking down those responsible for ‘rioting and violence’ in the Capitol, with some of the mob already identified online.
The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia has said ‘all options are on the table’ for charging the rioters, many of whom were egged on by President Donald Trump’s speech hours earlier at a rally over his election loss. Investigators are combing through photos, videos and tips from the public to track down members of the violent mob.
A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos.
The U.S. attorney’s office for D.C., which handles both local and federal cases in the district, had filed 17 cases in federal court and at least 40 others in the Superior Court by Saturday. The cases in Superior Court mainly have to do with things like curfew violations and gun crimes. Those being tried in federal court, where prosecutors can generally secure longer sentences, are charged with things like violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer and threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The pro-Trumper wearing a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ shirt, far left, has not been identified. The FBI are asking for helping in finding rioters
Defendants facing federal charges include Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man shown in a widely seen photo sitting in Pelosi’s office with his boots on the desk. Barnett is charged with crimes including theft of public money, property or records.
Another man being tried in federal court, Lonnie Coffman of Falkville, Alabama, was arrested after authorities say they found guns and 11 Molotov cocktail explosive devices made out of Mason jars, golf tees and cloth rags in his pickup truck.
A Florida man identified as the person seen in a photo shared widely on social media carrying the speaker of the House’s lectern also was arrested Friday. Adam Johnson faces charges including theft of government property.
Prosecutors say these charges are just the beginning. Authorities said Friday that said additional cases remained under seal and dozens of other people were being sought by federal agents.