Zelienople police officer investigated after protest

January 13, 2021 Cranberry Local News

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In this image from video, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

A Zelienople police officer is under investigation by the borough following social media posts showing his presence at the Jan. 6 protest in Washington.

Police Chief Jim Miller said Thursday the department was aware of officer Thomas Goldie's presence in D.C.

“We have referred to our legal people who are going to investigate it,” Miller said. “If there's anything that needs to be done or not done, we'll handle it.”

While posts on Facebook showed Goldie — who was wearing a “Trump 2020: (expletive) your feelings” hat — in Washington, they do not show him inside the Capitol Complex. Miller said there was no reason to believe Goldie was part of the group that stormed the building.

“I'm sure he wasn't,” he said.

Additionally, former state Rep. Rick Saccone — who unsuccessfully ran against Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th, in a 2018 special election — posted videos on Facebook about “storming the capitol.”

Following the breaching of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 by supporters of President Donald Trump, Butler County lawmakers on both sides of the aisle denounced the attack.

Despite the hourslong delay caused by the riot, Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly, R-16th, and Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-15th, issued statements decrying the mob that stormed the Capitol, although both lawmakers later objected to the certification of the Electoral College vote.

Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., similarly issued statements denouncing the attack and did not object to the certification.

Thompson called the attack “counter to American values.” Kelly, who on Jan. 6 signed his objection to the certification and spoke during debate Thursday morning, called the attack “wrong.”

“In this country, we resolve our disputes peacefully in legislative bodies and courts under the rule of law,” Kelly said. “Thank you to the Capitol Police and all other law enforcement officers who bravely secured the Capitol and kept us safe.”

Toomey's denunciation of the mob was less taciturn and more direct.

“This is an absolute disgrace,” Toomey said. “I appreciate the work of the United States Capitol Police under difficult circumstances.”

Early on Thursday, Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th, whose district includes parts of Cranberry Township, denounced both the rioters and the police response on the House floor.

“Let's be clear about what happened in this chamber today: Invaders came in for the first time since the War of 1812,” Lamb said. “They desecrated these halls and this chamber and practically every inch of ground where we work, and for the most part they walked in here free. A lot of them walked out free.”

Calls for resignations

The county Democratic committee called upon Kelly and state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12th, to resign, accusing them of fueling the incident at the Capitol.

“When rioters crashed through police barriers and rammed flag poles through windows of the center of power of this nation, Kelly, Metcalfe and those of their ilk were complicit,” said Catherine Lalonde, Butler County Democratic Committee chairwoman. “The rioters were sent to the building by Trump as the finale to a rally on (Jan. 6). But they boarded the buses to Washington with their flags and weapons and red-hot anger because they'd been told democracy would die if President-elect Biden was certified as the winner of the election that day. And they'd been told it enough that they believed.”

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Alex J. Weidenhof

Alex J. Weidenhof