My1sttoday: Capitol rioters lose jobs after social media users identifies them. Several participants in the pro-Trump riots at the Capitol building this week have lost their jobs after companies were able to identify them in images and videos posted on social media.
Wednesday’s mob, which sought to disrupt Congress’s vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, forced lawmakers and staff to shelter and evacuate while delaying the electoral count.
Five people died, including one Trump supporter who was shot by a Capitol Police officer and one officer who sustained injuries while responding to the mobs, with several others injured amid the chaos.
Rioters broke through windows and doors of the Capitol, ransacking offices and storming through the halls of the historic building.
One of the individuals arrested was Bradley Rukstales, CEO of Chicago-based marketing-data company Cogensia, who has been charged with “unlawful entry,” according to a press release from Capitol Police.
Cogensia tweeted on Thursday evening that it placed Rukstales on a leave of absence “while we assess further.”
Our CEO, Brad Rukstales' participated in the recent Washington DC protests. Those actions were his own and not acting on behalf Cogensia nor do his actions in any way reflect the policies or values of our firm. He has been placed on leave of absence while we assess further.
— Cogensia (@Cogensia) January 8, 2021
Later that evening, Rukstales took to Twitter to apologize for his actions, writing in a statement that he “followed hundreds of others through an open set of doors to the Capitol” in what he called “a moment of extremely poor judgment.”
“My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so,” he continued. “It was the single worst personal decision of my life; I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.”
— Brad Rukstales (@brad_rukstales) January 8, 2021
Also in Chicago, real-estate agent Libby Andrews’s job has been terminated by her employer, @Properties, after Andrews posted pictures on Facebook of her among the mob. According to Business Insider, the real estate agent later posted a photo of a champagne flute captioned, “After storming the capital a good glass of champagne is needed!”
@Properties in a Facebook post on Thursday said it had “received a tremendous amount of outreach regarding the actions of one of our agents, Libby Andrews,” and that it was “terminating this agent.”
One Texas-based attorney, Paul Davis, is no longer employed by Goosehead Insurance, the company announced in a tweet Thursday.
Davis had posted videos on social media discussing his participation in the riots, with Davis in one video saying “we’re all trying to get into the Capitol to stop this,” according to CNN. In other posts on his Facebook Stories, Davis claimed he was “peacefully demonstrating” the whole time, and was not trying to actively break into the Capitol.
In an email to staffers on Thursday obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Goosehead CEO Mark Jones said the company was “surprised and dismayed to learn that one of our employees, without our knowledge or support, participated in a violent demonstration at our nation’s capital yesterday.”
In Pennsylvania, Saint Vincent College announced that Rick Saccone, a former Pennsylvania state representative, would “no longer be associated” with the school where he served as an adjunct professor.
The college said in a statement to CNN that they launched an investigation into Saccone’s participation in the riots after he shared images on his Facebook page of him outside the Capitol.
“As a result of that investigation, Dr. Saccone has submitted and we have accepted his letter of resignation, effective immediately,” Michael Hustava, the institution’s senior director of marketing and communications, told CNN.
Maryland-based Navistar Direct Marketing also announced Thursday that it terminated an employee after he was seen storming the Capitol building while wearing his company badge.
The company released a statement condemning the male employee, who remained unnamed, for participating in the Capitol building’s “security breach.”