Former Florida officer arrested after live streaming from inside US Capitol during breach, FBI says
A former Florida police officer has been arrested after he entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and posted a live video to Facebook from inside the building, according to the FBI.
The Miami Herald reports that former North Miami Beach police officer Nicholes Lentz, 41, was arrested on Friday. He has been charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, the same charges that have been levied against the majority of those arrested for their involvement in the Capitol breach.
Lentz, a former U.S. Marine, left the North Miami Beach police department in August of 2020 after four years, the Herald reports. He is not currently a sworn police officer in Florida.
According to court records obtained by the Herald, Lentz posted a video of himself inside the Capitol building on Facebook. Lentz told the FBI he stayed inside the Capitol for about two hours, the Herald reports, and has not been charged with committing any acts of physical violence.
“America has spoken. You can not stop millions of people,” Lentz says in the video according to the FBI affidavit.
“We’re not here to hurt any cops, of course. I love my boys in blue, but this is overwhelming for them. There’s no way they can hold us back,” Lentz added.
The FBI interviewed Lentz at his home on Friday, the newspaper reports, during which he admitted to entering the Capitol building. He reportedly told the FBI he “drove through the night from Florida to Washington, D.C., arriving in the early hours of Jan. 6” to make it to the “Stop the Steal” rally held by former President Trump.
“Lentz believed no one at the U.S. Capitol seemed concerned about trespassing, nor were there any warning signs regarding trespassing,” the FBI said. “He stated that, despite the foregoing, ‘of course you know you’re trespassing.’”
The Pentagon earlier this month announced a plan to more aggressively combat extremism within the ranks after it was reported that one in five people charged in the Capitol riot were current or former members of the military. A handful of current or former law enforcement officers have also been arrested in connection with breaching the building.
Lentz appeared in court via Zoom and posted a $25,000 bail. His next court date is set for Feb. 26 through Zoom in D.C.