A New Jersey probationary correctional officer accused of breaching the Capitol sent a number of text messages and videos in which she bragged about being a part of the insurrection, court documents show.
The officer, Marissa Suarez, used an emergency holiday to take the day off work from the Monmouth County Corrections Facility on Jan. 6, according to the FBI. She then drove down to the nation’s capital with a friend, becoming one of several people working in law enforcement who joined the deadly pro-Trump rampage.
“Sooo we’ve stormed Capitol Hill lol,” Suarez wrote in one of the messages obtained by law enforcement, which was sent at 3:20 p.m. the day of the attack.
“Everyone stormed the capitol lol,” read another, sent at 3:25 p.m.
One minute later: “We’re inside hahaha.”
Suarez sent the messages to an unnamed witness who then passed them along to law enforcement, according to a federal criminal complaint against her.
Both Suarez and her friend, Patricia Todisco, are now facing charges for participating in the deadly riot, as are well over 100 other individuals.
Security footage placed Suarez and Todisco at the scene, as did multiple videos taken from Suarez’s point of view. Her videos show the angry crowd both outside the Capitol and inside, after the group pushed past a slim line of security forces and forced entry.
In one video, Suarez can be heard yelling with the crowd, “Stop the steal!”
Other text messages Suarez sent to the witness the next morning describe how she felt betrayed by former Vice President Mike Pence. Former President Donald Trump accused Pence of failing to help him overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election ― a power the vice president does not have ― in his increasingly desperate bid to remain president.
“When we found out pence fucked us, we all stormed the Capitol building and everyone forced entry and started breaking shit,” she wrote. “It was like a scene out of a movie.”
Suarez texted the witness that she and Todisco decided to join those breaching the Capitol after it became apparent that police officers on the scene were not putting up much resistance. Inside, she said, she was met with a scene of chaos where “smoke alarms were going off bc everyone was smoking pot and then people started drinking.” Many of the law enforcement officers she met inside “were cool,” Suarez said.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned his post in the wake of the incident, following intense criticism over inadequate security and the apparent support for the riot shown by certain officers. Sund later alleged that his attempts to request National Guard backup were rebuffed several times that day before authorities eventually put down the insurrection.
“Then the cops showed up for riot control and that’s when it got fucked,” Suarez wrote. “The governor issued a 6pm curfew.”
Washington, D.C., does not have a governor; Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a curfew for the district the day of the insurrection, allowing many of the rioters to be arrested for being out past 6 p.m.
NPR reported last week that nearly 30 sworn police officers had attended Trump’s rally and subsequent march to the Capitol, with some going so far as to join the mob that breached the building.
Five people were killed as a direct result of the violence.
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