Houston Cop Charged in Capitol Riot After Photos He Thought Were Deleted Placed Him in the Building

Illustration for article titled Houston Cop Charged in Capitol Riot After Photos He Thought Were Deleted Placed Him in the Building
Photo: Eric Thayer (Getty Images)

What do you call a person who commits a crime, lies about it, comes clean after getting caught in the lie and then makes up a lame excuse for committing the aforementioned crime? Would you call them a criminal? A hooligan? An undesirable member of society? Well, in this instance, the thing to call said person is “Mr. Officer.”


Federal agents have charged a now-former Houston, Texas, police officer with joining the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6. (So maybe “Mr. Terrorist Officer?” Nah, that’s redundant.) That’s right, weeks after the legion of losers attacked the Capitol building because the now-former president convinced them that the election was stolen, participants are still being rounded up and charged with crimes after video or photo evidence of their participation surfaced. It turns out—and Black people, I’m going to need you to sit down for this one because I’m sure you’ll be shocked—some of the people involved in the criminal activity that took place at the Capitol are cops or former cops.

The Texas Tribune reports that 18-year police veteran Tam Dinh Pham has been charged with knowingly entering a restricted government building and engaging in disruptive and disorderly conduct for his alleged involvement in what I like to think will go down in history as the stupidest attempted coup ever. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo—who said he notified federal authorities about Pham’s presence during the Capitol riot after seeing Facebook photos linking him to the insurrection of inconceivably stupid idiots—announced last week that Pham resigned from the force amid a federal investigation into the allegations against him.

From the Tribune:

According to the affidavit published by media organizations, Pham told the agents that he had traveled to D.C. from Houston on Jan. 5 for his wife’s business trip. He initially denied entering the Capitol, but admitted to attending the Trump rally earlier in the day. However, federal officials found photos of Pham standing in the Capitol rotunda in the deleted photos section of his phone. One agent warned Pham about making any false statements, and Pham agreed to cooperate for the rest of the investigation.

Pham also denied being a member of any far-right social media groups that had advertised the Jan. 6 rally, saying that he learned about the gathering on Facebook and attended because he wanted to “see history,” court documents show. After the president’s speech to the crowd that morning, he followed others to the Capitol, eventually climbing over toppled fences and barricades along the way. The photographs on Pham’s phone place him in the rotunda between 2:50 and 2:55 p.m. Eastern Time on Jan. 6.

Pham told FBI agents that he spent about 15 minutes inside the Capitol, where “he looked at the historical art on the walls and took photographs and videos inside.”

Well see, now I feel bad for being so quick to judge. The guy was just on vacation, wandered around, got lost and found himself in the middle of a government overthrow effort. Pham wasn’t part of the mob, he just happened to be walking in the same exact direction as the mob. He didn’t break into the rotunda, he just stepped over already broken down barricades while thinking, “Geez, D.C. really needs to do something about its littering problem.” And rioting? Gosh, no. It’s called sightseeing. Those other degenerates may have been looting, causing destruction and threatening to assassinate lawmakers, but Pham was just appreciating the fine art. Sure, anarchy was happening all around him, but where else in America can one view a rare portrait of George Washington and them? This guy isn’t a domestic terrorist, he’s Mr. Magoo.

According to The Appeal—which has been tracking law enforcement officers who took part in the failed Republican rebellion—more than 30 officers from police departments across the nation have been identified among the gullible GOP gangsters who stormed the Capitol.


Someone really needs to teach these cops to respect the law.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons



what I like to think will go down in history as the stupidest attempted coup ever

While true, we can’t downplay what happened just because the people who did it were intellectually challenged. I’ve already read of two different lawyers trying to use the “They were influenced by Trump/Too stupid to know better” defense in the media for their clients.