A North Kingstown man that federal investigators said took part in a confrontation with law enforcement officers on the Lower West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building during the Jan. 6 breach is now facing charges following a recent indictment.
Law enforcement officers have charged Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, with felony civil disorderly conduct and related misdemeanor offenses. He was arrested in North Kingstown and was expected to make an initial appearance Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Providence, officials said.
This case is still being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Officials said the investigation was assisted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Sirr was among rioters who illegally entered the Capitol and engaged in a confrontation with law enforcement officers in the tunnel area of the Lower West Terrace.
“At approximately 3:08 p.m., video shows Sirr entering the tunnel. During a video taken inside the tunnel, Sirr is at the front of the police line pushing against rioters who are assaulting officers,” wrote the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. “He is seen pushing against the police line with his hand pressed against a police shield. He also participated in a struggle in which a group of rioters chanted ‘Heave! Ho!’ in unison as they moved together as a team against the officer.”
Court documents indicate that Sirr exited the tunnel at approximately 3:14 p.m. About an hour later, however, he reappeared at the Lower West Terrace doorway, pushing other rioters who were pushing against police officers.
Sirr ultimately was ejected from the tunnel area.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Boston Field Office. The officer worked alongside the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Sirr as #249 on its seeking information photos.
In the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.