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K-State grad assistant, former Topeka City Council candidate arrested for role at Capitol riot

A Topeka man who previously ran for City Council was arrested for his role in the January 6...
A Topeka man who previously ran for City Council was arrested for his role in the January 6 Capitol Riot on Friday morning.(Shawn Wheat | wibw)
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 12:37 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka man who is a graduate teaching assistant at Kansas State University and previously ran for Topeka City Council was arrested Friday morning for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

William Pope, 35, appeared in a video depicting the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt inside the Capitol building. Pope said he had notified the FBI that he was involved in the breach, but had not damaged any property. Pope insists he was at the Capitol that day to exercise his First Amendment Rights.

Pop was arrested Monday on federal charges of Obstruction or Impeding Any Official Proceeding; Civil Disorder; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; Impeding Passage Through the Capitol Grounds of Buildings; Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building. Pope was taken into custody without incident.

Kansas State University said it condemns the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. It said it is conducting an internal review related to Pope and the incident and will not comment on future personnel actions.

Shawnee Co. Jail records indicate Pope was booked at 9:40 a.m. Friday on a federal hold. He is held without bond pending his first court appearance. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Pope is set to appear Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The FBI says Pope’s brother Michael Pope of Sandpoint, Idaho, was arrested Friday by the FBI’s Salt Lake City Division. He faces the same charges.

Will Pope is listed as a graduate teaching assisting in K-State’s Department of Communication Studies. The university did not yet have a comment when reached Friday afternoon.

He also ran in the 2019 City Council election, losing to current council member Christina Valdivia-Alcala.

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