A former Boston police officer was recently indicted on federal charges stemming from his alleged assault of an officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, according to court documents.
Joseph Robert Fisher, 52, of Plymouth, was indicted Sept. 6 in federal court in Washington, D.C., on eight criminal counts, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, records show.
Fisher pleaded not guilty Wednesday during a remote arraignment, according to court papers. He was released on personal recognizance soon after his March arrest. A lawyer for Fisher didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment Friday.
An FBI affidavit filed in the case said Fisher, who has a record of “prior employment in the Boston Police Department as a Boston Police Officer,” allegedly entered the Capitol around 2:24 p.m. during the riots.
Surveillance footage allegedly showed Fisher entering the House side of the Capitol Visitor Center orientation lobby at approximately 2:37 p.m. Moments later, a “physical altercation began between rioters and US Capitol Police Officers,” the affidavit stated.
Another rioter deployed pepper spray or mace at officers and one officer began chasing that person. Fisher then pushed a chair into the officer as he was running, according to the affidavit. Fisher allegedly assaulted the officer, which “ended with Fisher on the ground and out of the camera frame,” the affidavit said.
Fisher joined the Boston force in December 1994, and retired on Dec. 14, 2016. From July 29, 2015, until his retirement, he was assigned to the “Medically Incapacitated Section,” a department spokesperson said in March.
His last active assignment came as a member of the department’s K-9 unit, police said.
The deadly insurrection began after Donald J. Trump, in the waning days of his presidency, gave a fiery speech to a crowd of supporters urging them to “fight like hell” before they marched to the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s November 2020 presidential election victory.
The mob breached the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to evacuate to an undisclosed location for several hours before the certification process could continue.
Five people died in the attack or its immediate aftermath, and scores more were injured, including at least 140 members of law enforcement who were harassed, beaten, and sprayed with gas substances.
Trump has been indicted on charges related to Jan. 6 and in three additional cases. He’s denied wrongdoing and holds a wide lead in the polls over his presidential primary rivals for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.