Polk Sheriff Grady Judd announced during a news conference last week that Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Peter Heneen, 29, had been charged with making threats of political violence.
The deputy, who was hired more than six years ago, has been suspended pending termination, Judd said.
“I am angry beyond words,” Judd said. “Having him arrested was important. Having him arrested before Inauguration Day was even more important.”
President Joe Biden was set to be sworn in Jan. 20 in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Earlier this month, Congress had met at the Capitol Jan. 6 to certify the results of the presidential election. But an angry mob coming from a President Donald Trump rally near the White House broke into the Capitol, forcing members of Congress to flee.
Five people died during the riot, including one Capitol Police officer.
Heneen had been communicating with another deputy on Facebook, angry about a rioter who had been fatally shot while trying to break through a door, the sheriff’s office said.
According to screenshots of the conversation, Heneen talked about shooting “the feds” and making “the streets of DC run red with the blood of these tyrants,” officials said.
The other deputy, who officials did not name, reported Heneen to his supervisors Jan. 8.
Judd said they are still investigating, but Heneen does not appear to be part of any organized group or militia.
“Our deputy who reported this is a hero. That deputy did the right thing — he gave us information on a written threat of a mass shooting or act of terrorism,” Judd said. “It's important to understand that words matter and threatening words to hurt, to kill, are not acceptable.”