A Marine Corps officer was arrested Thursday and charged with offenses related to the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, making him the first active-duty service member to be charged in the incident, The Hill reports.
Maj. Christopher Warnagiris, 40, faces charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; obstruction of justice, and other offenses.
According to the Justice Department, Warnagiris ''violently entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors.''
After that, Warnagiris, a resident of Woodbridge, Virginia, used his body to keep a door open so that more people could enter the building, according to the Justice Department.
''When a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer tried to pull the doors shut, Warnagiris refused and continued pushing it open. Warnagiris can be seen pushing the officer in an effort to maintain his position in the open door in security camera footage and publicly available video footage,'' the Justice Department said.
Warnagiris is stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
"The Marine Corps is clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps," Maj. J.A. Hernandez, a spokesperson for the corps, said in a statement. "Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values."
He added that the service has a "multi-layered, policy-based approach" when it comes to screening recruits, and noted that the corps’ policy prohibits any type of harassment, discrimination or abuse, which includes ''supremacist activity.''
Hernandez said: ''Participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isn’t tolerated by the Marine Corps. We are proud of the fact that Marines come from every race, creed, cultural background and walk of life.
"We expect every Marine to treat their fellow Marines with dignity and respect. Those who can’t value the contributions of others, regardless of background, are destructive to our culture, our warfighting ability, and have no place in our ranks.''
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