A man who ran for a local school board position in Chesapeake, Va., last year was arrested this week and accused of assaulting police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Jared Miller was identified by comparing footage of the Capitol attack with his social media profiles, according to court records. Video stills appear to show him hitting and pushing multiple police officers, pulling down barricades and shoving them at the police, and throwing a water bottle at officers. He’s charged with assaulting police and civil disorder, along with disorderly, violent and obstructive conduct on Capitol grounds.
In 2022, Miller told the news station 10 WAVY that he was running for school board because he was against mask mandates at his daughters’ schools. In an appeal on the conservative fundraising website GiveSendGo, Miller also called for a ban on “all political activism and symbolism inside the schools.” He described himself as a disabled U.S. Army veteran who received Special Forces training. A witness told investigators Miller was part of a group called the Constitutional Defense League and took part in past protests at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond.
The man identified as Miller wore a pink gas mask for much of his confrontation with police, which took place between 1 and 1:30 p.m., according to the court record. But he was captured without the mask in videos taken before and after those skirmishes, and the same witness told the government that Miller owned a similar pink mask. He was spotted on the lower west terrace of the Capitol without the mask, according to the government. The Capitol was breached at a different entrance a little after 2 p.m., while rioters on the terrace battled police for hours. There is no evidence in the court documents that Miller entered the Capitol building.
An attorney for Miller could not be immediately reached on Friday.
Dana Cormier said Miller convinced him to also run for a seat on the school board. They were dissatisfied with the Republican-aligned candidates, who Cormier and Miller perceived to have similar views on diversity and environmental initiatives as Democrats.
“He’s one of the best people I know; a good dad, down to earth, easygoing, easy to talk to, never once had a problem with him,” Cormier said. “He’s not a physical guy.”
Miller is not the only person who has run for or served in public office to be charged in the Jan. 6 riot. Derrick Evans was a West Virginia state legislator when he helped lead the charge of protesters who overwhelmed police on the east side of the Capitol on Jan. 6. He resigned from his position in the West Virginia House of Delegates before serving three months in prison.
Ryan D. Kelley, a former candidate for Michigan governor, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in July to the misdemeanor of trespassing at the Capitol on Jan. 6. And New Mexico county commissioner Couy Griffin, founder of Cowboys for Trump, was sentenced to 14 days in jail and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine after being convicted of the same crime at a bench trial. He was subsequently disqualified from holding office under a post-Civil War constitutional prohibition on allowing insurrectionists in government.
As of August, more than 1,100 people have been charged in the Capitol riot. Nearly 600 of those defendants have been sentenced.