Shea: NYPD probing whether member took part in Trump mob’s Capitol attack

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, shown speaking at Jamaica Hospital in Queens on Nov. 26, 2020.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

At least one member of the NYPD is now under investigation for taking part in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by an angry mob of Trump supporters, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in an interview Monday morning.

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is handling the probe. Shea did not disclose the officer’s identity, rank or position within the department. “We don’t know if it’s true or not,” he said during the interview with “Mornings on 1” on Spectrum News NY1.

Shea, who is currently battling COVID-19 and working while convalescing, said he has spoken with Chief of Internal Affairs Joseph Resnick, and vowed that any NYPD member found to have participated in the attempted coup on the Capitol will pay the price.

“I can tell you that anyone committing crimes, certainly, will have a very short shelf life with the NYPD,” the commissioner said.

Shea said he was “deep in COVID” when the Capitol attack occurred on Jan. 6 and didn’t even know of the details until an official advised him. Hearing about the Trump mob’s assault on the heart of American democracy — which left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer — left Shea feeling as disgusted as most other Americans. 

“Like everyone else, I was disgusted by what I saw,” the commissioner said. “That’s our country there on full display, and you know, hopefully, we never see anything like that again.”

The NYPD will be sending 200 members of the force to help the Washington, DC Police Department with security detail related to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. The NYPD typically assists its colleagues in Our Nation’s Capitol with inaugural security every four years.

Shea said his officers will be there to also show solidarity not just with law enforcement in Washington, DC, but also with the elected officials and a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another.

Meanwhile, the commissioner spoke about his personal battle with COVID-19, which started last week. He described his experience as akin to a “bad flu,” with chills and aches among the symptoms. 

“I’m listening to the doctors, taking it easy, recovering at home, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work soon,” Shea said. 

COVID-19 ravaged the NYPD during the pandemic’s first wave in March and April 2020; at one point, nearly 20% of the entire department’s roster wound up on sick leave. More than 40 members of the NYPD died of the illness, including Chief of Transportation William Morris.

On Jan. 11, the NYPD finally became eligible under state regulations to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Shea said the department hasn’t wasted any time in getting its members inoculated.

“To give you a scope, by a little after 7 this morning, we had done 400 vaccinations,” Shea said. “We were ready to go, we’ve been ready to go for some time. It’s very welcome news that they can get the protection they need. We’re very grateful to have the vaccine, and this is a big step forward.”

Watch the entire interview on NY1.com.

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