Protesters with Mid-South ties part of mob that stormed Congress

Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 9:54 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In the aftermath of the riot in Washington D.C., the FBI is asking for tips and digital media depicting the unrest.

We’ve found some local ties, including one from the Natural State.

A picture of Arkansas resident Richard Barnett with his feet propped up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk went viral.

Barnett lives in Gravette, Arkansas -- a city of just about 3,500 people in Benton County -- and claimed in a video posted to Facebook last year that he was a retired Memphis firefighter.

Gravette Mayor Kurt Maddox says several people around town recognized Barnett and the department was inundated with upwards of 200 calls and emails demanding his arrest.

“At that moment we started receiving emails, phone calls, Facebook posts, even 911 calls to our police department,” said Maddox.

The FBI is trying to identify people involved in the riot.

PERSONS OF INTEREST: The FBI and DC Police are asking for tips and trying to identify the rioters who stormed the Capitol. You can find full-size images on our website. >>

Posted by WMC Action News 5 on Thursday, January 7, 2021

A video circulating social media was sent to WMC Action News 5 and shows a man a friend claims is from the Memphis area. We called a business associated with the name given to us but got no response.

We spoke to a woman who recognized the man from that video. She says she recognized him from their hometown.

The woman says she turned the video in and gave his name to the FBI.

We reached out to the FBI to ask if they have received any calls about Mid-Southerners involved in the unrest but the FBI would not comment.

Federal prosecutors say they have already charged over a dozen people stemming from the violent unrest.

If you have information that can help the FBI in their investigation, visit

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