Sheriff Denies Any Riots Involvement
EL RENO — An Oklahoma sheriff held a news conference Friday to discuss his trip to Washington during the riots at the U.S. Capitol building.
Canadian County Sheriff Chris West denied involvement in the violence after social media posts accused him of being in the Capitol building during the riots.
The news conference came amid widespread speculation about the level of involvement in the violence of those who attended the rally and march in support of President Donald J. Trump.
There have been calls for Sheriff West to resign.
“I didn’t participate in the riots,” Sheriff West said Friday.
“I was there as a patriotic citizen.”
Sheriff West said he “rebukes” the crimes that followed the rally he attended.
The sheriff is widely known to be a supporter of President Trump.
“The way that I execute my duties as the sheriff is totally separate and apart from my personal politics as an individual,” Sheriff West said.
Sheriff West said he witnessed a peaceful rally among Trump supporters, but denied being a part of the Capitol break-in.
“All the crimes that have occurred, I’m not even going to speak on those,” he said, “because I don’t know about them.”
He called the demands that he resign “preposterous.”
West said he did not damage the Capitol or participate in the riots, saying he was there as a “patriotic American.”
He said a side-by-side graphic posted to social media showing a past photo of him compared to a person at the Capitol is not him.
“I believe it’s politics,” Sheriff West said, about any apparent dislike toward him.
He also denied having tweets that attacked Congress online that were alleged to be from him on social media.
A petition started online accuses Sheriff West of “willful misconduct” and calls for his removal from office.
On Monday, Sheriff West responded to new allegations on social media that said he had pushed past a Capitol policeman at the riots.
A news reporter said Monday that the FBI had given its typical “cannot confirm or deny” response to questions about whether Sheriff West is being investigated for activities at the riots.
That comes as Congress moves to impeach President Trump for his involvement in instigating the riots, as investigations are said to be underway of at least three members of the Congress for helping orchestrate the riots and as the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate those who attended the riots.
It is said that investigators believe law enforcement officers were involved in the riots.