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Vermont state trooper placed on leave over comment supporting pro-Trump mob

The Vermont State Police announced Thursday that Sergeant Lucas Hall was suspended without pay pending an internal investigation into social media posts that “appear to support the criminal insurgency that occurred” at the U.S. Capitol and “advocate for such insurgency to continue.”

Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling issued the statement and said that the VSP received reports about the posts Thursday morning.

“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.

Sgt. Lucas Hall.Vermont State Police

Schirling said that the sergeant, who had been stationed at the Shaftsbury barracks in the state’s south, is now under investigation and results are expected within several days.

Schirling said that Hall’s 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.”

“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,” Schirling said.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, in a statement to VTDigger, called for Hall to resign over the posts.

“This trooper needs to be fired or needs to resign immediately,” Donovan said. “You cannot have a law enforcement officer calling for the violent overthrow of our government. He’s lost my trust, he’s lost the trust of the public. This is completely unacceptable.”

Joining Donovan, a Democrat, in his condemnation of President Donald Trump’s role in fomenting the Capitol riots was moderate Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who condemned Trump shortly after the Tuesday riots.

“President Trump has orchestrated a campaign to cause an insurrection that overturns the results of a free, fair and legal election,” Scott said, calling for Trump’s removal either by impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

A spokesperson for Scott did not immediately respond to a NBC News request for comment on the trooper’s suspension.

Hall did not answer calls to numbers listed for him on Friday, and the Vermont Troopers Association did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Source:

www.nbcnews.com

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