A Houston police officer who reportedly attended the January 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol says he shouldn’t have been there.
Tam Pham, an 18-year-veteran of the force told the Houston Chronicle of his actions and how he felt he “wasn’t in the right mind.”
Pham was relieved of duty by Houston police chief Art Acevedo and could likely face federal charges for his participation in the riot which left five people dead and was used as the key reason the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump for the second time, a first in American history.
“He got into the Capitol. I’m highly confident he will face federal charges,” Acevedo said, while adding he contacted the FBI about the officer’s possible participation. The chief was tipped off by a community member who complained about the officer and pointed out his appearance wearing a mask and holding up a Trump flag at the Capitol in photos on Facebook.
Pham is scheduled to appear in front of Acevedo at a disciplinary hearing on Friday (January 15) though Acevedo isn’t strongly believing he’ll show up.
“I shouldn’t have done it,” Pham told the Chronicle. “I was there to take pictures. A lot of stuff happened that day. I wasn’t in the right mind.”
Acevedo immediately condemned the insurrection and the belief the men and women who swore to protect and serve the community would instead attack the “citadel of Democracy.”
“I can’t tell you the anger I feel at the thought of a police officer thinking they get to go storm the Capitol,” the chief said.
Pham is expected to resign on Thursday (January 14), according to the Houston Police Officer’s Union.
“I’m very disappointed,” Doug Griffith, head of HPOU said. “If the allegations are true, he deserves to be penalized just like any other person would be. It’s a crime. It was a crime to enter the Capitol — he needs to face punishment for that.”