Michael Angelo Riley served as a U.S. Capitol police officer for more than 25 years. On Friday, 15th October, he was arrested for obstruction of justice in connection with the U.S Capital riots.


On January 6, Trump supporters swarmed the US Capitol building during the counting of US President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes. According to reports, Trump encouraged people to proceed to the Capitol to make their voices heard. The building was soon surrounded by Trump supporters who came in waving their flags and breaking into the US Capitol building.


In the introduction, the indictment states that Michael Riley was not on duty in the building when the attack took place, but he was aware of the violence and strife. Supported evidence shows he responded to the USCP’s radio report of an explosive device suspected around the Capitol Complex.


The indictment is based on Facebook conversations between a possible suspect addressed as ‘Person 1’ and Michael Riley. According to the evidence, these conversations reveal that Michael and Person 1 are members of various Facebook groups about fishing, as both of them share a common interest in fishing.


The officer texted Person 1 in response to his selfies and videos that showed his presence inside the U.S. Capitol building at the time of the attack. Riley advised him to take down those videos and pictures to avoid the investigation that he might face due to the proof of his presence. He also said that he agrees with the intruders’ political stance.


The two stayed in contact, till the 21st of January when Riley sent a message to Person 1 saying that he has deleted all their messages and that he felt like a moron for believing him that he did not commit any crime inside the building because the officer received some videos with Person 1’s actions that proved he was a part of the crime.

Two Counts of Obstruction

  1. He induced a possible suspect to alter or remove the availability of records that could be used in the federal investigation as evidence against the criminal.
  2. He deleted his Facebook messages with Person 1with the intent to destroy the record that could be helpful for official proceedings.


“Obstruction of Justice is a very serious allegation. The Department was notified about this investigation several weeks ago. Upon his arrest, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the case,” said Chief Tom Manger, U.S. Capitol Police, “The USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility will then open an administrative investigation.”

Riley appeared in court last Friday and has been released under certain conditions pending trial.