MONTPELIER — A Vermont State Police trooper in the Shaftsbury barracks resigned late Tuesday, as officials investigated a social media post he had published in support of insurrection in the nation’s capitol last week.
According to a statement from Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling, Sgt. Lucas Hall resigned late Tuesday evening “prior to the anticipated conclusion of the investigation into his conduct related to the Capitol insurrection.” He said the details of the investigation will be sent on to the Vermont Criminal Justice Council for consideration of sanctions, including decertification.
On Jan. 6, protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building following a speech by President Donald Trump, interrupting Congress as legislators worked to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden. The next day, state police received a report of “personal, off duty, social media posts” that appeared “to support the criminal insurgency that occurred” at the U.S. Capitol, and advocated for the 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.
Hall was suspended without pay and an internal investigation was launched into Hall’s conduct.
“These actions, if true, have caused pain and anguish on the part of Vermonters during an already indescribably stressful time in our national history and for that we are saddened and sorry,” Schirling said. “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.”