Capitol police officer offered to let January 6 rioter stay at his home and arrange a tour of the building ‘legally next time,’ feds say

journalists capitol riots cameras
Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol building in Washington on January 6.

  • A Capitol Police officer invited a January 6 rioter to his home and offered him a legal tour of the Capitol.
  • The officer also tried to help the unnamed rioter avoid law enforcement by telling him to delete online photos.
  • Officer Michael Angelo Riley has been indicted on two felony counts of obstruction.

A Capitol Police officer accused of helping a January 6 rioter invited the man to stay at his home and get a tour of the Capitol building on his next trip to Washington DC, messages obtained by prosecutors show.

Michael Angelo Riley, the officer, who worked with the K-9 unit and has been in the force for almost 25 years, was indicted on Friday on two counts of obstruction. Federal prosecutors say he told a rioter he agreed with his “political stance” and told him to remove online photos to avoid being pursued by the FBI.

Riley has since been placed on leave until the case is completed, the Capitol Police Department told Insider.

In the days after the insurrection, Riley exchanged messages with the accused rioter about fishing and invited the man to stay at his home.

“Next time you want to come to DC just call me, you can stay at my house on the shore for free and bring your daughter to museums,” he wrote, according to a message included in the indictment.

“If you want to see the Capitol building, let’s do it legally next time… I know a guy who can get you a tour… lol. It’s behind you now,” he continued. “Lesson learned! Just ask your attorney what’s next.”

According to the indictment, Riley and the accused rioter became Facebook friends on January 1. The two were both avid fishermen and members of fishing-related Facebook pages, prosecutors said.

After the accused rioter participated in the insurrection – where a mob in support of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building to try to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results – he posted selfies of himself at the Capitol, prosecutors said.

In the following days, Riley and the accused rioter continued to exchange messages and speak on the phone. Riley told the accused rioter of the FBI’s strategy to pursue people who attended the January 6 insurrection and offered legal advice, the messages obtained by prosecutors show.

The FBI arrested the accused rioter on January 19, and he told Riley about it on January 20, prosecutors wrote. After that, their relationship soured, messages show. A mutual friend sent Riley a video of the accused rioter at the Capitol building, smoking, prosecutors said.

“I tried to defend you but then he showed me a video of you in the Capitol smoking weed and acting like a moron,” Riley wrote in a message to him. “I was shocked and dumbfounded, since your story of getting pushed in the building with no other choice now seems not only false but is a complete lie. I feel like a moron for believing you.”

But Riley had been sent the video showing the accused rioter smoking before, prosecutors said in the indictment. According to the messages they obtained, a mutual friend even sent a screenshot on January 9 showing him smoking at the Capitol building.

“Yep, I know,” Riley wrote in response.

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Capitol Police officer charged with trying to help a January 6 rioter avoid law enforcement

capitol riots flag
A group of Trump protesters wave flags while standing on an armored police vehicle on the grounds of the Capitol Building in Washington DC, on January 6, 2021.

  • Federal prosecutors accused a Capitol Police officer on Friday of helping a January 6 rioter.
  • The officer, Michael Riley, has been charged with two counts of obstruction.
  • The indictment says he bonded with the accused rioter over fishing and invited him over to his house.

A Capitol Police officer has been indicted on two felony counts of obstruction for allegedly helping a January 6 rioter hide evidence.

Prosecutors say officer Michael Angelo Riley, who worked with the K-9 unit and has been with the department for nearly 25 years, told an unnamed rioter to remove online photos of him at the Capitol to avoid criminal charges, according to the indictment filed in US District Court on Thursday.

Riley is accused of sending dozens of messages to the rioter.

“I am a Capitol Police officer who agrees with your political stance,” Riley wrote in one message with the unnamed person, as quoted in the indictment. “Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to be charged. Just looking out!”

Riley has since been placed on leave until the completion of the case, the Capitol Police Department told Insider.

According to the indictment, Riley was working as a member of the Capitol Police on January 6, when a mob in support of then-President Donald Trump rioted at the Capitol building and sought to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election.

Riley wasn’t present at the Capitol building itself, but responded to reports of an explosive nearby, prosecutors wrote.

Riley and the unnamed rioter became Facebook friends on January 1, the indictment says. On January 7, the day after the insurrection, the officer messaged the other person and advised him to take down photos of himself at the Capitol building, prosecutors said.

“It was a total shit show!!!” Riley said in a message obtained by prosecutors. “Just wanted to give you a heads up… we had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad.”

The two also talked a lot about fishing, according to prosecutors.

In the following days, messages obtained by prosecutors show Riley advised the unnamed rioter about the FBI’s strategy in pursuing people who stormed the Capitol building. He also invited him to his house.

“Lesson learned!” one message read.

“Next time you want to come to DC just call me, you can stay at my house on the shore for free and bring your daughter to the museums,” another of Riley’s messages read. “If you want to see the capitol buildings, let’s do it legally next time.”

The FBI arrested the accused rioter on January 19. On January 20, he told Riley about his interview with the FBI, and Riley deleted all their direct messages later that day, according to the indictment.

Insider could not immediately identify an attorney representing Riley. Riley is due to appear in federal court in Washington later Friday.

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Killed British MP once wrote that a deadly attack on a politician could ‘happen to any of us’

David Amess
David Amess MP in the Prime Ministers Office at the House of Commons on October 16,2016 in London, United Kingdom

British politician David Amess – who was stabbed to death Friday during a constituent event at a church in Essex – once wrote that he was warned to be careful when meeting with constituents and said that a deadly attack could “happen to any of us.”

In his 2020 memoir “Ayes and Ears,” the Conservative MP wrote about how he received a death threat from the IRA, and the warnings given by the police to MPs about the dangers of constituency surgeries.

“Members were asked to be vigilant of the general public visiting constituency surgeries,” Amess wrote. “This advice was triggered as a result of someone with a machete bursting into the surgery of Nigel Jones and killing one of his assistants. A traumatic event. His attacker had been a constituent that he had met many times before and was clearly frustrated by the progress being made on his behalf.”

Amess wrote that such an attack “could happen to any of us.”

“Now advice has been given to be more careful when accepting appointments,” he continued. “We are advised to never see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure.

“In short,” he wrote, “these increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians.”

Amess, 69, was meeting with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex when he was attacked and stabbed multiple times shortly after 12 p.m.

He was treated by emergency medical services and later died at the scene.

Essex Police said they have arrested a 25-year-old man following the event.

“We’re not looking for anyone else,” the force tweeted. The man is currently in custody.

Amess posted public notices of his events, according to the Associated Press.

The Conservative politician also wrote about the 2016 murder of MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a far-right extremist at while meeting with constituents.

“While it is often said that good can come out of someone’s death, it is difficult to see what good can come from this senseless murder,” he wrote in the memoir.

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British Conservative lawmaker dies after being stabbed multiple times while meeting constituents

Sir David Amess speaks on stage during the Conference In Support Of Freedom and Democracy In Iran on June 30, 2018 in Paris, France
David Amess.

  • Sir David Amess was stabbed on Friday. He has since died at the scene.
  • He was meeting constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when the attack happened.
  • The Essex Police said one man had been arrested, and that “we’re not looking for anyone else.”

Sir David Amess, a British Conservative lawmaker, has died after being stabbed multiple times while meeting with constituents on Friday.

Amess, 69, was attacked at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where the MP was holding a constituency surgery, Sky News reported. The Essex Police said it took place shortly after 12 p.m.

“He was stabbed several times,” Local councillor John Lamb told Reuters.

A medical helicopter arrived at the scene following the attack. Police said a man – identified by reports as Amess – was treated by emergency services but died at the scene.

The Essex Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested following the attack. “We’re not looking for anyone else,” the force tweeted. The man is currently in custody.

Insider has contacted Amess’ office in Westminster for comment.

UK leaders denounced the attack

Politicians from across the spectrum decried the violence – the fourth such attack against a British politician since 2000.

“Truly awful news. My thoughts and prayers are with David Amess MP, his family and the community at this incredibly difficult time,” Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted.

Former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron shared: “Very alarming and worrying news reports coming from Leigh-on-Sea. My thoughts and prayers are with Sir David Amess and his family.”

Brendan Cox, whose wife Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist while meeting with constituents in 2016, also condemned the attack.

“Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself,” he tweeted.

Amess had been an MP since 1983, representing Southend West in Essex for the Conservative Party since 1997. He has never held ministerial office.

His website describes his main interests as “animal welfare and pro-life issues.” He was made a knight in 2015 for services to public and political life.

In 2021, Amess wrote in a memoir of how he received a death threat from the IRA, and the warnings given by the police to MPs about the dangers of constituency surgeries.

“Now advice has been given to be more careful when accepting appointments,” he wrote. “We are advised to never see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure.”

“In short, these increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians.”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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Kyrsten Sinema is reportedly threatening to hold Biden’s agenda hostage. She wants to pass the bipartisan roads-and-bridges bill now.

Kyrsten Sinema
Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is threatening to torpedo Biden’s agenda, telling a group of fellow moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives that she will not support a multi-trillion dollar reconciliation package until Congress passes the $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill first, Reuters reported Thursday.

Reuters cited a source briefed on the meeting in its report about the decision of Sinema, a key moderate whose resistance to the reconciliation deal has stalled Biden’s signature legislation.

Sinema wields power to prevent legislation from moving forward in the split 50-50 Senate.

The $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is a staple of President Joe Biden’s agenda. But moderates Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin are holding out on the bill as a separate bipartisan infrastructure package is discussed in the House.

House progressives, meanwhile, have refused to pass the infrastructure deal unless the reconciliation package is approved at the same time.

Progressives revolted the last time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to hold a vote on the roads-and-bridges bill alone. Now, Sinema seems determined for it to pass first.

Reps for the senator did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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Video shows Jeff Bezos interrupting William Shatner’s emotional speech to spray Champagne

william shatner talks to jeff bezos
William Shatner tells Jeff Bezos about his spaceflight experience in a screenshot from Blue Origin’s livestream.

  • William Shatner spoke emotionally with Jeff Bezos about his trip to space on a Blue Origin rocket.
  • Video shows Bezos interrupting him at one point to ask for a bottle of Champagne to spray.
  • Shatner then stops speaking, though Bezos at one point said he wanted to hear what Shatner had to say.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sent the “Star Trek” star William Shatner to the edge of space on Wednesday, and the actor spoke emotionally about the experience on his return.

Shatner spoke with Bezos after he landed, where teared up while reflecting on what he described as a profound experience.

Video footage showed Shatner describing his experience to Bezos, when Bezos turns to a group nearby and says: “Give me the Champagne bottle. Come here. I want one.” Shatner stops speaking, and scratches his head, the video shows.

Watch the moment here:

Bezos then says he still wants to hear Shatner’s story, saying: “I want to hear this.”

He offers some Champagne to Shatner, who declines, and Bezos then sprays the Champagne to cheers from the group, while Shatner still has his hand by his head.

Footage also shows Shatner stepping back and turning away while Bezos continues to spray the Champagne, and Bezos then turning to put his arm on Shatner:

Shatner had described his trip to the edge of space to Bezos as being “the most profound experience.”

“I am so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it,” he said.

“It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men … It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”

It is not clear if Shatner said these things before or after Bezos asked for the Champagne.

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More people with firearms were stopped by TSA in the first 9 months of 2021 than in any of the last 20 years

TSA
A TSA agent waits for passengers to use the TSA PreCheck lane at Miami International Airport on October 4, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

  • The TSA stopped more people with firearms at airports in 2021 than in any of the last 20 years.
  • By early October, the TSA stopped 4,495 passengers with firearms at security checkpoints.
  • For every 1 million people who went through a checkpoint, 11 firearms were found in carry-on bags.

The Transportation Security Administration has stopped more people with firearms at airports in 2021 so far than they have in any of the last 20 years, the agency said on Wednesday.

By early October, the TSA stopped 4,495 passengers who were trying to bring firearms onto an airplane, breaking the previous record of 4,432 passengers during all of 2019.

For every 1 million passengers who went through a TSA checkpoint, 11 firearms were found in carry-on bags, the agency said, compared to five in every 1 million two years prior.

“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a statement.

“Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them,” he added.

According to the agency’s website, passengers are allowed to transport firearms in checked baggage if they are declared to the airlines ahead of time and packaged in a locked casing.

If a passenger brings a firearm to an airport checkpoint, the TSA said penalties vary based on if the gun is loaded and the number of past offenses.

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17 employees at a Florida school district have died from COVID-19 since August

Surgical mask hanging inside school on locker.
Surgical mask hanging inside school on locker.

  • Seventeen employees at a Florida school district have died from COVID-19 since August.
  • Of the 17 employees, 12 of them had returned to their jobs when the new year began in early August.
  • A spokesman from the district said it is unclear how the employees might have gotten sick.

Seventeen employees from a central Florida school district have died from COVID-19 since the school year began in August, according to multiple reports.

A spokesman from the Polk County Public Schools district confirmed the figure to Insider and said that of the 17 employees, 12 of them had returned to their jobs when the new year began in early August, while five didn’t report to their jobs.

“The pandemic continues to severely impact our community, and many public servants – including educators, healthcare staff, rescue workers, and law enforcement officers – are experiencing tragic losses,” the district said in a statement, according to NBC.

The district said it is unclear how the employees might have gotten sick.

According to the district’s dashboard, there have been 3,855 total confirmed COVID-19 cases since August 23, including 431 employee cases.

With 14,000 employees and over 100,000 students, it’s among the 30 largest school districts in the country, according to the district’s website.

As for preventative measures, the district said it is currently placing 50,000 desk shields in kindergarten through 5th-grade classrooms, according to local station News Channel 8.

Florida schools have been on the frontlines of a back-and-forth bout with Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has tried to ban mask mandates, Insider previously reported.

The district does not have a mask mandate and said in July that face coverings are optional for students and staff.

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China is preparing to test thousands of blood samples in Wuhan to uncover the origins of COVID-19

Wuhan reopening july 20 2020
A cinema in Wuhan is disinfected as the area moved to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic on July 20, 2020.

  • China is preparing to test thousands of blood samples in Wuhan to uncover the origins of COVID-19.
  • Up to 200,000 samples spanning 2019 are kept in the Wuhan Blood Center, CNN reported.
  • Wuhan is thought to have been the location of the first COVID-19 infections in humans.

China is preparing to test thousands of blood samples in Wuhan to uncover the origins of COVID-19, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The city in central China’s Hubei province is thought to have been the location of the first COVID-19 infections in humans, and the World Health Organization in February that the blood samples could help investigators figure out how exactly the pandemic started.

Up to 200,000 samples from 2019 at the Wuhan Blood Center have been kept by Chinese officials in case they are needed as evidence against any lawsuits related to the donations, the report said.

Chinese officials said once the two-year waiting period passes for October and November 2019 – which is when experts think the virus first infected humans – researchers will begin testing the blood samples, CNN reported.

“This provides the closest in the world we’ve seen of real time samples to help us understand the timing of the outbreak event,” Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN.

The WHO last month announced that it is restarting its investigation into the origins of COVID-19 in China, as competing theories of the disease’s origin remain. Some – including US politicians – have accused China of concealing the cause of the outbreak, claiming COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan.

Some scientists have said the most likely origin of the disease is natural spillover from animal to human, potentially at a meat market in the area.

Several members of a WHO team that visited China in January had said that Chinese officials refused to hand over key information, like raw patient data from early cases, that could have helped determine when and how COVID-19 started.

“No one will believe any results that China reports unless there are qualified observers at the very least,” Maureen Miller, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University told CNN.

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Massachusetts’ National Guard will help test for COVID-19 in public schools as staffing shortages cause delays

A member of the National Guard drives a school bus.
The governor of Massachusetts called in the National Guard to assist amid the school bus driver shortage.

  • Massachusetts’ governor activated the National Guard to help test students for COVID-19.
  • Two hundred National Guard members will help test students in public schools across the state.
  • It comes as many of the state’s school districts face testing delays due to a staffing shortage.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker activated 200 members of the state’s National Guard to help test students for COVID-19 in public schools, the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday.

Baker’s decision comes as many of the state’s schools are facing delays in testing due to a staffing shortage caused by an increase in districts signing up for testing services, the report said.

Members of the National Guard will begin training this week before helping at schools starting on Monday.

CIC Health, which provides testing for schools in the state, has hired over 1,500 people to help with the efforts and is looking to increase that number.

State Rep. Mindy Domb put pressure on the Baker administration to activate the National Guard last month, and wrote in a letter to state leaders that “the inconsistent rollout of the pooled testing program could be jeopardizing the health of our school communities.”

According to the Globe, schools can participate in different testing programs for free.

Schools can test individuals who have symptoms at the school, they can test students or staff in large groups, and they can test close contacts of positive cases to determine if they need to be sent home to quarantine or not.

The move comes after Baker activated the National Guard last month to drive school buses as a driver shortage forced school delays and interruptions around the country, Insider previously reported.

The Baker administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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