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Mississippi man charged with assaulting police during Capitol siege

Michael Leon Brock of Mississippi was charged Wednesday with assaulting police during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Image courtesy of U.S. Justice Department
Michael Leon Brock of Mississippi was charged Wednesday with assaulting police during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Image courtesy of U.S. Justice Department

July 22 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Mississippi man with assaulting police officers while breaching the Capitol building with a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Justice said Michael Leon Brock, 54, of Walls, Miss., was charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, among other charges.

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Brock is the latest person to be charged in connection with a mob that stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 with intent to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

Five people died and more than 140 police officers were injured in the assault that caused some $1.5 million in damages to the building.

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Prosecutors on Wednesday said Brock was present among a mob of people on the Upper Western Terrace of the Capitol building at 4 p.m. on Jan. 6 and was captured in body-worn camera footage charging police officers performing crowd control manoeuvres.

According to the criminal complaint, Brock was observed in the footage holding a four-foot-long rod that he used while "assaulting multiple law enforcement officers and impeding law enforcement officers from performing official duties."

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The document stated his repeated actions to push and hit the officers with the rod caused them to disperse.

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Pictures taken with various cameras on Jan. 6 included in the document show a man wearing a green hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap holding a rod used to hit police.

Authorities identified the man as Brock after a confidential witness submitted an online tip to the FBI on June 16. The person who identified Brock stated that they had known the man for some 20 years, the document said.

Records obtained through a search warrant also indicate that on Jan. 6 a cell phone associated with the suspect utilized a cell site that provides services to an area that includes the interior of the Capitol building, it said.

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More than 535 people have been arrested for crimes connected to the building's breach, including more than 165 charged with assaulting on impeding law enforcement.

FBI and federal prosecutors continue to search for those who participated in the siege and have repeatedly asked the public for help identifying those captured in video footage on the premises.

"The investigation remains ongoing," the Justice Department said.

The charges come days after a federal judge handed down the first sentence for a felony crime related to the siege.

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On Monday, Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Fla., received an eight-month sentence for his role in the attack.

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