Two Seattle police officers were fired after attending the January 6 riot at the Capitol, even though they never stepped foot in the building.
The officers were found to have crossed barriers and were directly next to it, NBC News reports.
“It is beyond absurd to suggest that they did not know they were in an area where they should not be, amidst what was already a violent, criminal riot,” Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a statement.
Diaz described the officers’ attendance as “a stain on our department.”
“These two officers were present at an attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was also an attack on our profession and on every officer across the country,” he continued.
Reports identify the officers as Caitlin Everett and Alexander Everett. Police would not disclose whether there is a personal relationship between the two, but the Associated Press reported that they are married.
According to the report, the Everetts were next to the Capitol building while people were “scaling a stone wall to the Capitol steps, climbing the scaffolding, and crowds were surrounding the building.”
“It defies belief that you could think this situation was ‘peaceful’ or that you were not on notice that you were trespassing,” the discipline report reads.
President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild Mike Solan described the case against the officers as vague.
“We understand the optics of this,” he said. “Our issue is, the case file does not back the claim that these officers witnessed criminality. They’re on record saying they did not witness any.”