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capitol riot

Former California police chief indicted on Capitol riot charges

Alan Hostetter, a former chief of the police department in La Habra, California, has been indicted for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hostetter was indicted with five other Californians: Russell Taylor, Erik Scott Warner, Felipe Antonio "Tony" Martinez, Derek Kinnison, and Ronald Mele. All of the men are charged with being in restricted areas of the Capitol, with Kinnison and Warner also charged with destroying evidence and Taylor charged with carrying a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches.

According to a grand jury indictment unsealed on Thursday, the men allegedly used social media and text messages to plan their trip to the Capitol, and talked about bringing weapons with them. While breaching the Capitol, the men urged others to join them, the indictment says, and posted photos and videos online. The men are all said to be members or associates of the Three Percenters militia, the Times reports. 

Before the insurrection, Hostetter and Taylor helped organize Stop the Steal rallies in California. Hostetter briefly served as the La Habra police chief in 2010, but retired after eight months, citing mental health reasons. Hostetter's attorney, Bilal Essayli, told the Times he was "very troubled" by the indictment, and Hostetter "did nothing more than exercise his 1st Amendment rights." He added that his client "doesn't know many of the people on this indictment. They are just people on a message chat."