US riots: Employees fired after being spotted in siege at Capitol Hill

Rioters identified participating in the breach of the United States Capitol Building are being fired by their employers.

From lawyers to real estate agents, companies around the US have been quick to remove staff involved in the siege.

After documenting his experience on Instagram of being tear-gassed outside the Capitol, North Texas lawyer Paul Davis found himself jobless. In the footage, he demanded an audit of the election, with riot police seen behind him.

His employer, Goosehead Insurance, announced Davis was no longer employed by the company.

Public Facebook posts from realtor Libby Andrews showed her smiling happily on the Capitol steps surrounded by fellow rioters and drinking a glass of champagne later that day to celebrate the storming.

Hours later her employer, @properties, announced on Facebook that it had had a “tremendous amount of outreach regarding the actions of our agent” and she had been terminated immediately. It added that the company does not “condone violence, destruction or illegal activities”.

A man captured in images wearing a Navistar company badge inside the Capitol was identified and dismissed by the Maryland company.

“While we support all employee’s rights to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, any employee demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer have an employment opportunity with Navistar Direct Marketing,” the company said in a statement.

Some rioters saw the writing on the wall and handed in their resignations, such as former Republican state lawmaker Rick Saccone.

He worked as a professor at Pennsylvania’s Saint Village College for more than two decades teaching international relations and global terrorism, but a video he posted to social media showed him wearing a Trump hat, among the crowd gathered outside the Capitol.

In a now-deleted social media post, he said: “We are storming the Capitol. Our vanguard has broken through the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?”

His employee confirmed that Saccone has resigned and hit out at what had happened in Washington.

“We teach our students the importance of the sanctity of human life, the rule of law, civil discourse, free speech and civil engagement,” Saint Village spokesman Mike Hustava told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

“We strongly condemn the extreme actions of those in our nation’s capital who engaged in violent and lawless acts against the people, institutions and processes of our democracy.”

He added that the college believes all individuals have the right to an opinion, but there will be tolerance when beliefs and opinions devolve into illegal and violent activities.

An online petition with more than 10,000 signatures has demanded the resignation of West Virginian lawmaker and Republican Derrick Evans, who was sworn in for his first term last month. He deleted a live-streamed video on his social media showing him storming the Capitol while wearing a helmet and chanting Trump’s name. Other politicians called for an investigation into his actions and for his access to the Statehouse to be removed.

Even emergency service personnel have come under the spotlight after the protest turned violent.

A firefighter has been placed on leave and an investigation launched by the Sandford Fire Department in Florida after he was accused of being part of the mob, with a photo appearing to show him inside the Capitol, a spokesperson said.

“At this time, we are following the investigative process,” a spokesperson told WFTV. “The administrative investigation will look into all aspects of the nature of the photograph and will address any city policy and/or law violations that could possibly arise throughout the investigation.”

A Texas jail lieutenant is also under investigation after she posted pictures from the Capitol grounds. No illegal activity was committed by the woman in the pictures, but officials are scrutinising whether any laws were broken or if she remained on the ground when officers were attacked.

“If she just stood by while first responders were assaulted, it would be more than just troubling, it would be downright infuriating,” Sheriff Javier Salazar from Bexar County in Texas told the San Antonio Express-News. “It makes you mad … if someone that wears a uniform just stood there, watched and took pictures.”

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