Feds claim Jan. 6th rioter was seen giving the Nazi salute and sending racist messages

Matthew Beddingfield of North Carolina was first identified by online sleuths who were investigating the Jan. 6, 2001 attack.

Feds claim Jan. 6th rioter was seen giving the Nazi salute and sending racist messages

WASHINGTON -- Jan. 6 rioter, with a violent criminal record, stormed the U.S. Capitol. The Department of Justice argued Tuesday that the Jan. 6 rioter with a violent felony record who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 should be held on bail for a first-degree attempted killing charge.

Matthew Beddingfield was found in North Carolina by online sleuths. He was first identified in an March 2021 HuffPost article which described how members of the Sedition Hunters community identified him using facial recognition technology. Beddingfield is seen in video footage at the front of the police lines using his flagpole as a weapon and throwing a pole at officers.


 

Last month, he was arrested in North Carolina after a meeting with his probation agent. The Justice Department filed a new Tuesday filing claiming that Beddingfield had praised Hitler and harassed others on social media.

After he had traveled to D.C. on Jan. 6, Beddingfield was released on bail. He was charged with shooting a 17 year-old Hispanic man in the Walmart parking lot. Seven months after the Capitol attack in January 2021, Beddingfield pleaded guilty to felonious assault using a deadly weapon to kill or inflict serious injury and was sentenced with 24 months probation.

According to the FBI's original affidavit, Beddingfield "appeared in a gesture that is often associated with the Nazis" outside the Capitol. The extent of his white supremacist views was not made public until now.

Federal authorities filed a detention memo Tuesday morning claiming that they found "highly offensive, deeply troubling hate symbols" and hate speech on Beddingfield’s phone.

The memo stated that Bedingfield seems to have deep resentment for the Black, Hispanic and Native American communities, while glorifying white supremacist figures and beliefs. The authorities wrote that Bedingfield expressed his desire for members of these groups to die violently in some messages. In others, he expressed a desire to inflict violence on them.

They wrote that images on their cellphones "include, however, images of SS Bolts and swastikas (sometimes having hate language superimposed over four arms of the swastika), many images and memes featuring Hitler and other antisemitic, antiblack and anti-LGBTQ+ memes and caricatures."

According to authorities, Beddingfield used racial slurs against other users on an Instagram account and wrote "Heil Hitler." Beddingfield was charged with reckless driving and harassing other Instagram users in the days preceding his February 7 arrest.

According to federal authorities, Beddingfield wrote that he wanted to reclaim America.

In a February 5 message, he stated that "the only tragedy that occurred was that Hitler didn’t finish the job."

Beddingfield was also reported to have several books on Hitler and Nazis in his car when he arrived at the meeting with his probation officer. FBI agents discovered "thousands" of rounds of ammunition in Beddingfield’s closet at his family home. This was even though Beddingfield was a convicted felon when the ammunition was found. Federal authorities also found four handguns, four long guns and additional ammunition in Beddingfield's family home.

Also included in the memo is an image of the shoes Beddingfield wore to Capitol on Jan. 6

Citing what appeared to be his Nazi salute during the Jan. 6 Riot, the Justice Department argued that Beddingfield not just held racist white supremacist views but was also "willing" to act on them and express them while committing violent acts.

They wrote that Beddingfield made a "nazi gesture" towards the Capitol, which is significant after he had violently assaulted and confronted law enforcement. They wrote that there is a link between Beddingfield's white supremacist views, his violent acts and the physical manifestations of them.

In connection with Jan. 6th attack on Capitol, more than 740 people were arrested by the FBI. Hundreds more are currently being made. The first Jan.6 trial is.

Beddingfield's hearing for detention is set for March 10.

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