August 8, 2022

Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest in the rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

A retired New York police officer who was seen on surveillance tape shaking a tambourine while walking around the U.S. Capitol with a crowd of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, was arrested Tuesday morning.

Sara Carpenter, 51, is the youngest of a number of past or current law enforcement officers charged in connection with the uprising that began with protests against the election of President Joe Biden.

Carpenter, who surrendered on Tuesday, told FBI agents in January that she had gone to the Capitol with others after hearing that then-President Donald Trump had ordered her “to march to the Capitol.”

Five people died in the riot, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Two other police officers defending the Capitol that day killed themselves shortly after the riot that injured nearly 140 other police officers.

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Carpenter retired from the New York Police Department in 2004 after about 10 years of service. In the 1990s she worked as a spokesperson for the NYPD.

Detective Sophia Mason, a current police department spokeswoman, said in an email: “The NYPD worked closely with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which culminated in the arrest of Sara Carpenter.”

Carpenter was released on personal note by a judge after appearing on videoconference in federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday. She will be charged with offense for knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building or site without legal authority, for disorderly or disruptive behavior in a restricted building or site, and for violent entry and disorderly behavior on the Capitol site.

“Any participation on January 6th [riot] is serious behavior, “US assistant attorney Josh Hafetz said at the hearing.

However, prosecutors said Carpenter’s collaboration with the FBI, her voluntary surrender, and other factors led Brooklyn and Washington prosecutors to agree that a non-monetary loan would be enough to ensure they return to court and will protect the security of the community. “”

Under the terms of this bond, Carpenter’s travel is restricted to New York City or Long Island, unless it is a visit to Washington to appear in court and meet with a lawyer there. She had given her passport when she surrendered to the FBI.

The DOJ is submitting a photo of a tambourine as part of a statement of fact pertaining to former NYPD officer Sara Carpenter who participated in the Capitol Riots on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Carpenter case, along with hundreds of other criminal cases against alleged Capitol rioters, is being prosecuted in the District of Columbia Federal Court.

The court record says the FBI received an anonymous tip on Jan. 7 that Carpenter called a relative and said she was in the Capitol and was gassed tearfully during the invasion. The tipster gave the address of Carpenter in the borough of Queens in New York City.

Carpenter told FBI agents during an interview on Jan. 18 that she drove to Washington on Jan. 5 and “went to the rally point where Trump’s Twitter page instructed all supporters about the election fraud the next morning.” to hear “, it says in the file.

For months after the November presidential election, Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed that he won the election and that Biden’s victory was the result of widespread electoral fraud in several states.

Federal and state courts have consistently denied these allegations, as has Trump’s then Attorney General William Barr.

On January 6, Trump, his family members and various allies held a rally outside the White House, again making false statements about the election and calling on supporters to help them reverse the election results. These results were to be confirmed that day by a joint congressional session chaired by then Vice President Mike Pence.

According to the file, Carpenter said to FBI agents, “She heard President Trump’s words on the giant televisions and speakers telling people to back off, not go and march to the Capitol.”

“Carpenter stated that she started walking to the Capitol with a large group of people around 1:00 pm. Carpenter stated that she entered the Capitol rotunda, watching other people walking around with objects. ” Filing said.

Carpenter told FBI agents that she saw police screaming for people to get out and then pushing and shoving the crowd. Carpenter said she was trampled and sprayed with pepper as she left the Capitol building. “

The DOJ is submitting photos as part of a statement of fact that identifies former NYPD officer Sara Carpenter (dressed in a red hat, green jacket, and gray backpack) participating in the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Source: Ministry of Justice.

The file also notes that Carpenter said during her interview that she recorded a video of the interior of the Capitol building on her cell phone. She texted an FBI agent on January 19 with the footage.

The Capitol closed-circuit television video shows Carpenter in a red hat, green coat, and black boots with a backpack as he enters the Capitol rotunda with a crowd.

Before leaving the rotunda, Carpenter can be seen on a video “turning back into the room and rising” [her] Hands in the air, “said the file.

The DOJ is submitting photos as part of a statement of fact that identifies former NYPD officer Sara Carpenter (dressed in a red hat, green jacket, and gray backpack) participating in the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Source: Ministry of Justice.

“She holds a tambourine in her left hand, which she shakes several times before turning around and leaving the rotunda,” the file says.

A search of Carpenter’s house on March 2 found the clothes she was wearing in the Capitol that day, as well as the backpack.

“Carpenter also volunteered to provide the tambourine that she confirmed was wearing in the Capitol,” the file said.