FBI: Ex-NYPD spokesperson charged in Capitol insurrection
The FBI arrested a former spokesperson for the New York City Police Department on Tuesday on charges she entered the U.S. Capitol — and shook a tambourine — during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Sara Carpenter, a retired police officer who lives in Queens, drove to Washington the night before the deadly siege and took video as the chaos unfolded inside the Capitol Rotunda, the FBI said in court filings.
Surveillance footage showed her shaking a tambourine that agents later recovered during a search of her residence.
She told the FBI she was “trampled and pepper-sprayed as she exited the Capitol building,” according to court filings, and drove back to New York hours after the riot.
Carpenter, 51, was charged in U.S. District Court with misdemeanor counts of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority.
Her defense attorney declined to comment on the charges.
Carpenter surrendered to the FBI in New York, though her case is being prosecuted in Washington.
The NYPD said Carpenter joined the department in 1994 and retired in 2004. The agency said it worked closely with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on Carpenter’s arrest.
The FBI said it first was alerted to Carpenter’s presence inside the Capitol by an anonymous tip that included Carpenter’s home address.
After arriving in Washington, Carpenter told the FBI, she “went to the rally point where President Donald J. Trump’s Twitter page had instructed all supporters to meet to hear about the election fraud,” according to court filings. From there, she said, she began walking with a large group to the Capitol.
The FBI interviewed Carpenter on Jan. 18, and she sent agents footage she took of the siege the following day, according to court records.
Prosecutors said during an afternoon court hearing that Carpenter has cooperated with the investigation.