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US Capitol riots: FBI arrests pastor accused of shouting 'hallelujah' after shoving metal barricade into police, allowing rioters to enter building

by Tola Mbakwe
William Dunfee.PNGthumb.PNG - Banner image
Twitter video screenshot/ @ryanjreilly

The FBI has arrested a pastor for his alleged involvement in the US Capitol riots last year. 

William Dunfee, a 57-year-old pastor from Frazeysburg, Ohio was charged with felony and misdemeanour charges on Wednesday. 

The FBI claims his actions on 6th January contributed to massively disrupting a joint session of US Congress which was in the process of counting electoral votes for the 2020 US Presidential election. 

The insurrection was sparked by Donald Trump supporters who believed the former president's claims that votes had been rigged and, he in fact, won the election, not Joe Biden.

Dunfee, who pastors New Beginnings Ministries Warsaw, is accused of pushing a barricade into police who were trying to control rioters and stop them from entering the US Capitol building. His alleged actions have been revealed in a video taken by another rioter.

The US Justice Department said in a statement: "On Jan. 6, 2021, Dunfee illegally entered the Capitol grounds and, using a bull horn, he repeatedly addressed the crowd, saying, among other things, 'We are taking our house.'

"At approximately 1:44 p.m., Dunfee pushed a metal barricade against officers with the U.S. Capitol Police, who were attempting to hold the line. He pushed against the barricade a second time at approximately 1:58 p.m. He moved to the front of a crowd of rioters at the East Front entrance to the Capitol. 

"Dunfee walked away from the East Front doors as others moved into the building, but he remained in the area. As rioters exited the building, one stated, 'We did it. We shut 'em all down. We did our job.' Dunfee responded, 'Hallelujah,' and later told the crowd, 'Mission accomplished.'"
It's been reported that Dunfee was easy to spot because he was wearing a jacket with the name of his company on it. 

According to court documents, in a video on the church's Facebook page posted on 27th December 2020, he told his congregation: "The Government, the tyrants, the socialists, the Marxists, the progressives, the RINOs [politicians of the Republican Party deemed insufficiently loyal to the party], they fear you. And they should. Our problem is we haven't given them reason to fear us."

He later added: "As I said earlier in another previous sermon is this, they used to tell us, you know what, you settle your differences at the ballot. How did that work out for us? It's not over." He added, "January 4th through 6th … Are you ready?"

According to NBC News, the FBI received several video screenshots and tips about his alleged involvement in the riot. Members of his church were also part of those who reported him.
Since the historic breaching of the US Capitol building, more than 870 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the insurrection. 

More than 265 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives select committee investigating the deadly attack will conduct its next hearing on 13th October.

The committee conducted eight hearings over six weeks in June and July, disclosing the findings of its more than year-long probe of the events. 

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