William Pope, of Topeka, was arrested by the FBI and Topeka police officers without incident and was being held without bond in the Shawnee County jail.
He acknowledged his involvement in the riot and claimed he had not been violent but added that he later reported himself to the FBI because “it was the right thing to do.”
“I was at the Capitol to exercise my First Amendment rights and remain loyal to the United States of America,” Pope said, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. “The best way to mend the fabric of our society is to maintain the confidence of people in their institutions of government.”
William Pope, of Topeka, was booked Friday into the Shawnee County jail in Topeka, Kan. (Shawnee County Department of Corrections via AP)
Pope, 35, ran for the Topeka City Council last year and as of October 2020, he was listed as a Republican precinct committee member in Shawnee County. He also worked briefly as an entry-level auditor for the Legislative Division of Post Audit, the state’s official auditing agency until 2019.
Pope was also an adjunct instructor at Fort Hays State University from January 2016 until May 2020. And he was listed as a doctoral student in Kansas State University’s communication studies department as of Friday.
Kansas State spokeswoman Michelle Geering said the university is conducting an internal review and will not comment on future personnel actions.
Fort Hays State University spokesman Scott Cason said the school was not aware of any instance where Pope’s political views were included in his teaching, Cason said.
He was charged with civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; obstruction or impeding any official proceeding; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; impeding passage through the Capitol grounds of buildings; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, the FBI said, according to the Capital-Journal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.