A photo of the son of Aberdeen’s police chief at the U.S. Capitol, showing that he attended the Jan. 6 riots against the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, surfaced online and drew ire on the agency’s social media accounts.
In a statement, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said he did not know about the “Save America March” beforehand, nor was he aware of his son’s attendance.
A photo of Christian Trabert, the 24-year-old son of the chief, was posted to Facebook, appearing to show him and several others outside the Capitol building standing behind a throng of people on the steps. The photo was also accompanied by the text “Yeah I stormed the Capitol. Yeah I took my country back. And no, I don’t feel bad. I feel great!”
The photo was swiftly deleted, and Christian Trabert deleted his Facebook account. Screenshots of the photo were later posted in the comments of an unrelated Facebook post on the Aberdeen Police Department’s page. Those screenshots have since been removed.
In a statement posted to Facebook, the police department and the city condemned the violence at the Capitol. But the statement observed that Americans have the right to peaceable assembly, and there was no indication that the younger Trabert had done anything illegal at the Capitol building.
“However, information that we have reflects the Chief’s son only participated in the permitted outdoor rally. He never passed police lines nor entered the Capitol,” according to the statement. “If that information proves untrue, we expect justice will be served.”
As legislators met to certify the results of a contentious presidential election Wednesday, individuals supporting outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. They broke into the Capitol building, forcing legislators to stop counting the electoral college votes and shelter in place. The police contingent at the Capitol was quickly overrun, and troops from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia’s National Guard were eventually deployed for additional security.
According to the former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police Steven Sund, who has since resigned, he requested assistance six times before and during the attack, all requests of which were denied or delayed.
Five people died in the riot, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
Aberdeen City Manager Randy Robertson said in a statement that Henry Trabert has the confidence of the city’s mayor and council, and he will not be disciplined for his son’s actions. The city did not exclude the possibility that the photo was “deliberately placed ... in an effort to discredit [the chief], his service and/or the APD,” according to the statement. That is not known.
Christian Trabert does not live in Aberdeen, Robertson said.
In the statement, Henry Trabert said transparency and his integrity, along with that of the officers under his command, is a priority.
“As your Chief, I have a responsibility to serve all members of our community, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or political affiliation,” Trabert said in the statement. “I want to assure you that I am and continue to be transparent and up front with you.”
After the riots, the FBI began collecting online tips concerning the events that occurred at the Capitol. Many of those at the Capitol posted videos and photos of themselves and others in the building. Some vandalized property, including the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Numerous Facebook commentors said they reported Christian Trabert on the FBI’s website.
Christian Trabert’s attorney, Andrew T. Chabalowski, said he was aware of the rumors circulating about the younger Trabert but would not offer comment when reached Monday. Trabert is not charged in connection to the events of Jan. 6 in either Maryland courts or DC’s superior court, according to online court records. Similarly, no case against Trabert have been filed in federal court.
Editor’s note: The police agency Steven Sund and Brian Sicknick worked for was misidentified in an earlier version of this article.