DC Police Officer Michael Fanone Did Not Storm Capitol with Confederate Flag

A baseless smear directed at D.C. police officer Michael Fanone was circulated on social media.

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Claim

D.C. police officer Michael Fanone stormed the U.S. Capitol with a confederate flag.

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Origin

In July 2021, shortly after D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone and three other law enforcement members testified before a House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a series of photographs was circulated on social media along with the false claim that Fanone had been one of the rioters who stormed the Capitol and that he was spotted carrying a confederate flag:

This is nonsensical, not suspicious. Fanone was one of the officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6, not one of the failed insurrectionists who attacked it. 

The above-displayed images feature two different people. The images on the right-side of this meme show Fanone. The images on the left all show a man named Kevin Seefried who was arrested a few days after the attack. CNBC reported at the time:

A man who carried the Confederate battle flag into the U.S. Capitol as part of an invasion by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump surrendered with his son Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued for them.

Kevin Seefried, who was carrying the flag that he later told authorities had been displayed outside his Delaware home, and his son Hunter Seefried are expected to be arraigned later Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

According to a charging document, Kevin Seefried told the FBI on Tuesday during a voluntary interview that he and his son had been part of a group of rioters who breached the Capitol’s entrances on Jan. 6, and that they had been in Washington that day to hear Trump speak at a rally on the Ellipse.

According to charging documents from the Department of Defense, Seefried is accused of “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.” 

In addition to the fact that law enforcement has identified the man carrying the confederate flag in these photos as Seefried, not Fanone, we can also tell that these are two different people because Fanone was wearing a bodycam during the attack. This footage shows Fanone, and several other officers, fighting back against a mob attempting to storm the Capitol.

Fanone talked about his bodycam footage during his testimony before the bipartisan House committee investigating the attempted insurrection: