By Steve Neavling
A Maryland police officer was indicted for his alleged role in the mob violence against D.C. police guarding the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a year before he joined the force, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Justin Lee, 25, of Rockville, Md., was indicted on seven charges, including assaulting a D.C. police officer and impeding police during civil disorder.
In a news release, the Montgomery County Police Department said it has suspended Lee without pay and is “taking steps to terminate his employment.”
The department said it wasn’t aware of his alleged involvement in the mob attack until July 2023, when it discovered the FBI was investing the officer.
“The actions of one individual do not define the entire department,” the department said.
Lee had been placed on administrative leave after he shot and killed a man suspected of stabbing four people on July 22.
Lee applied to the department in July 2021. In the six months before he was hired, the department did not know of Lee’s involvement in the riot, police said.
The department said it’s reviewing its process of conducting background research on job applicants “to determine whether adjustments need to be made.”
“Lee’s involvement in the January 6 insurrection was not discovered during this process, as he was not identified by the Justice Department in connection with the event,” the department said.