Author Don Winslow Offers $20,000 Reward to Find Capitol Officer Who Posed for Selfie with Rioters

A crime novelist is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who can identify a U.S. Capitol Police officer who allegedly posed for selfies with rioters.

Don Winslow made the offer after a short video appeared on social media, appearing to show the officer striking a pose with rioters who had overrun his colleagues and stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday.

Sharing a still from the clip on Thursday morning, Winslow tweeted: I'm offering $10,000 cash to the first person who identifies to me the NAME of this @CapitolPolice officer who took selfies while 5 people were being killed—and something that I can use to VERIFY. If it has already been reported, please send to me."

He later doubled the reward to $20,000, writing: "I WANT THIS GUY'S NAME."

I'm offering $10,000 cash to the first person who identifies to me the NAME of this @CapitolPolice officer who took selfies while 5 people were being killed - and something that I can use to VERIFY.

If it has already been reported, please send to me. https://t.co/qjH5vCz1Yc

— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) January 8, 2021

A representative for Winslow told Newsweek the reward was a genuine offer that would be paid to the first person who provides "verifiable identification." The spokesperson added that the name and information would be passed to the FBI.

"Don has been very troubled to see local news affiliates around the country locate and interview the domestic terrorists who attacked the U.S. Capitol (resulting in five deaths) while the FBI and DHS have seemingly been unable to do so," he said in an email.

"It's also quite troubling how many of the domestic terrorists who illegally entered the Capitol through force (which is a federal crime) and were able to walk away without consequences, right past members of the Capitol Police and other law enforcement."

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. Capitol Police for comment, to ask for further context to the video and whether it has identified the officer pictured.

Law enforcement has faced a barrage of criticism, as well as some praise, from congressional leaders over how it handled the disorder. The reaction led the head of the force, Chief Steven Sund, to resign on Thursday. The sergeant-at-arms of the House and Senate, Michael Stenger, has also quit.

Other footage from the riots has raised questions over police conduct during the disorder.

Some major networks and many on social media have suggested that one widely shared clip shows Capitol officers allowing rioters to get at the building.

However the TikTok journalist who captured the moment, Marcus DiPaola, has since told Newsweek that officers "definitely didn't just open the barriers" and only moved away when vastly outnumbered, ill-equipped and facing violent threats.

@marcus.dipaola

Group just pushed Capitol police

♬ original sound - Marcus DiPaola

A third video shows one officer waving his arm as if to beckon someone toward the building as police retreat after their line had been breached. It is not clear from the clip who the officer is directing the gesture at.

Meanwhile, a number of those involved in the protests have been identified.

They include one rioter pictured hanging from a balcony in the Senate chamber—named by local media as Josiah Colt from Idaho—and another man—identified as Richard Barnett from Arkansas—who was photographed with his feet on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Washington D.C. police has released pictures of "persons of interest" in relation to the riot as FBI agents also seek to identify those involved.

Five people died during the riot, including U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was "injured while physically engaging with protesters," police said.

Ashli Babbitt was shot by a police officer while reportedly climbing through a broken window near the Speaker's Lobby. The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

Man photographs US Capitol Police officer
A still taken from a clip of a live broadcast made inside the U.S. Capitol after rioters breached police lines and stormed the building. Unknown