SHAFTSBURY — The Vermont Public Safety Commissioner has suspended without pay a state police officer who allegedly posted social media messages expressing support for the Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Commissioner Michael Schirling said an internal investigation has also been opened into the conduct of Sgt. Lucas Hall, of the Vermont State Police’s Shaftsbury Barracks. In a Facebook post, an account under the name Luke Hall said: “God Bless America!!!! Cheers to the great Patriots in Washington Dc. The time has come… Let’s gooooo!!!””
Schirling, in a news release this afternoon, said: “These posts appear to support the criminal insurgency that occurred yesterday at the U.S. Capitol and to advocate for such insurgency to continue.
“While we recognize the rights of all people including sworn law enforcement officers to express their views, advocating for the overthrow of the constitutionally defined democratic election process by force or violence violates our oath of office to uphold the Constitution.”
Schirling said the internal investigation will be completed in a few days.
“It is important to state in the strongest terms that these posts are in no way reflective of the beliefs and values of the Vermont State Police or its dedicated troopers and staff, who work each and every day to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” he added.
State Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington, issued the following statement: “I fully support Commissioner Schirling’s swift action to investigate the possible act of criminal insurgency by a Vermont State Police officer. Yesterday’s failed insurrection cannot go without consequence and anyone participating in the attack on the Capitol needs to be held fully accountable for their actions. Vermonters expect nothing less.”