LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Metro police officer posted a selfie from grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but no evidence indicates he took part in the riot that entered the building.
And the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA) on Friday came to his defense, saying no inappropriate action occurred.
A photo of Christopher Cooney, a 12-year veteran who is assigned to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Convention Center Command, was posted on a Facebook account.
A statement from Metro detective Steve Grammas, President of the LVPPA, defended the officer.
“From what the PPA has learned from our officer, he was attending a rally in Washington, D.C., and listened to the president speak. After that, he walked with hundreds of thousands of people to the Capitol. He took a photo as he stood at the Capitol,” the statement said.
“After being up all day, he decided to go back to his hotel for the evening. Our officer was only on the west side of the Capitol and while he saw people walking up the steps, he never saw any violence or entry into the Capitol. He believes most of the issues took place on the east side of the Capitol,” Grammas said. “Our officer is very active in the Republican Party and has attended many rallies and conventions over the years. This was no different. However, our officer had no involvement or engagement in any illegal activity.”
Metro could open an investigation, but Grammas said that is unlikely. A spokesperson for Metro said the agency investigates all complaints reported against an employee. There was no indication a complaint had been filed against Cooney on Friday.
Earlier this week, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Metro was investigating whether any of its officers participated in the riot. Lombardo promised cooperation with federal authorities in the investigation.
“I think it would be troublesome for an individual to be part of the law enforcement community knowing that they entered the Capitol and did insurrection,” Lombardo told 8 News Now.
Incoming Nevada Republican Assemblywoman-elect Annie Black also attended last week’s rally and marched to the U.S. Capitol. Black, of Mesquite, who will represent northeastern Clark County, said she kept far behind a larger group, which had breeched the security line and gathered at the building’s east front. She has rejected calls for her to resign.