A corporal with the Arkansas State Police attended the pro-Trump rally that preceded the deadly attack on the Capitol last Wednesday. And in a Facebook video discussing the event, the law-enforcement officer accuses D.C. police of busing in anti-fascists to quell the riots—a myth that D.C. police deny.
She also appeared to cast doubt on the authenticity of bombs police said were found in Washington.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, while police were clearing the last of the rioters from the Capitol building, Karen Clark uploaded a Facebook video from what appeared to be a hotel room. In it, she described the events of the day, in which she said she had unknowingly entered “an area that was off limits,” although she denied entering the Capitol itself. She proceeded to accuse the city’s police force of using anti-fascists to “clear downtown.”
Arkansas’s government worker database lists Clark, 56, as a corporal who started her service in 1992. Reached for comment, Clark did not deny attending the event but told The Daily Beast she was “not at liberty to talk” until she spoke with her department. The Arkansas Times previously reported on the existence of her video and named Clark earlier Thursday.
In an email, a State Police spokesperson told The Daily Beast that two troopers were accused of attending the pre-riot rally and that “at this time there has been no allegation of illegal activity on the part of either trooper while they were in Washington.”
Both troopers alerted supervisors of their intentions to travel to the rally, according to the spokesperson. He added that employees were allowed to use their off-duty time how they liked, but that the department would “certainly cooperate with federal authorities if evidence or allegations were made against the troopers being part of the group that illegally went beyond the security lines around the capitol.”
In her Facebook video, Clark suggested she and another woman had entered a restricted area outside the Capitol. (Felecia, the woman she identified as her companion that day, could not be reached for comment.)
“We get off in this great big old crowd of damn people and we get whisked down the streets and we having our good time because people singing and they chanting and all kinds of stuff. So we all up in the throe of that. We having our good time. We got our little face mask and stuff on. We just having a good time,” Clark said in the video.
“Well, unbeknownst to us, we get squeezed into an area that was off-limits. We had no idea it was off-limits cause there wasn't no fence or nothing. By the time we got there, a whole bunch of folks done went through there.”
In her video, and in an accompanying Facebook post, Clark claimed not to have entered the Capitol itself (“We didn’t get in no trouble. We didn’t storm the building”) and left the area after getting a bad “vibe” from those in attendance.
But she accused those who did of being part of a conspiracy, possibly one that has been embraced by the president of the United States who incited the riot in the first place.
“It was damn obvious that those folks pushing past us were NOT with us!!” she wrote. “We can not say that they were Antifa, BLM or police or military. We don't know. But they were organized and appeared to be there on an assignment.”
In the video, Clark suggested infiltrators trying to imitate pro-Trump rally attendees may have been present at the Capitol.
“They've got their backpacks on, they've got their hats backwards. They don't look like us and they darned sure ain't acting like us, but they want to act like they're acting like us. I don't know if that makes any sense to you but it's pretty darned obvious to me.” she said.
Although multiple police officers have been arrested for their alleged breach of the Capitol, or (like Clark) identified as having been present outside the building, there is no indication that anti-fascists or Black Lives Matter were involved in the historic assault. Many of those charged in the invasion, instead, are highly vocal Trump supporters, including those involved with far-right paramilitary groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.
“This breach of the capitol reeks of being a planned operation by someone and the truth may never come out,” Clark claimed. “Wake up sheep!”
In her video, Clark appeared to accuse local police of busing in anti-fascists to quell the riot while reiterating claims she heard from other rally-goers.
“We ran into some people who said they were trying to clear all the streets because they had just brought in four more busloads, the police were escorting in four more busloads—four more busloads—they escorted four yesterday. But they were escorting four more busloads of antifa in to clear downtown,” she claimed.
D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department denied the allegation.
“The Metropolitan Police Department does not act in the capacity of private security for any group,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
Clark also called reports of bombs near the event “strange” because she had purchased chicken wings from a food truck near a bomb-evacuation area, and thought the police tape was too close to the alleged IEDs.
Police reportedly found multiple explosives, including some in the car of a man cops say left handwritten notes about “overthrow[ing] the men who pervert the Constitution.”