Capitol riot suspect arrested after girlfriend tags him on Facebook

Justin Jersey was identified by online sleuths who have helped authorities track down hundreds of insurrection suspects

Andrew Naughtie
Friday 03 December 2021 18:10
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Video helps authorities arrest Michigan man for alleged part in Capitol riot
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A Michigan man wanted in connection with the 6 January riot at the US Capitol has been arrested after his girlfriend tagged him in a picture on Facebook that was spotted by online “sedition hunters”.

In the federal indictment against him, authorities claimed that Justin Jersey assaulted police officers with a baton. As reported by the Detroit News, he is facing charges including assault, civil disorder, breaking into a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct, violent entry and engaging in physical violence.

Mr Jersey, a resident of Flint, Michigan, was visible in multiple photos and video clips taken at the insurrection. Among the community of internet users who set about tracking down wanted people listed by the FBI, he acquired the name “#Fingerman” thanks to a picture of him giving the middle finger to US Capitol Police officers while one of their number was dragged down the Capitol steps and badly beaten by members of the crowd.

Justin Jersey

Among the clues in the visual evidence were Mr Jersey’s Michigan sweatshirt, as well as the words “f*** you” tattooed on his left middle finger. His girlfriend reportedly tagged him in a Facebook post along with another man, Trevor Brown, who is accused of taking part in the riot – and an Instagram post featuring the tattoo helped seal the identification.

He has now been indicted by a grand jury along with several other alleged rioters, some of whom are facing other charges such as engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds.

Mr Jersey was listed as number 106 on the FBI’s list of suspects wanted in connection with the riot. Nearly 700 have now been arrested; many have been charged, some are in detention pending trial, and a few have been sentenced (among them the notorious “QAnon shaman” Jacob Chansley).

The supposed ill-treatment of alleged rioters in custody has become a cause celebre among some in the Republican party, with far-right lawmakers including Marjorie Taylor Greene taking up their cause while pro-Trump leaders complain they are being scapegoated.

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