Police are notorious for supporting one another in most every circumstance. While plenty of professions have a tendency to be insular and protect their own, among cops, the solidarity is particularly strong.
Except, apparently, when it comes to the U.S. Capitol Police.
Members of an online message board dedicated to supposed New York Police Department (NYPD) employees don’t uphold the thin blue line for their brethren who defended the U.S. Capitol.
In a supreme bit of irony, they even want Capitol Police investigated for acts of police brutality.
Things on the board turned particularly odious this week. Members were outraged that a retired NYPD officer, Sara Carpenter, was convicted for her role in the Capitol riot. Despite her being accused of physically striking a cop, they see Carpenter’s conviction as a miscarriage of justice.
Thee Rant is described as a place for “New York City Cops speaking their minds.” It’s an anonymous message board hosted on Tapatalk. Members discuss the news and other matters of interest to the group.
Thee Rant was created in 2008. Many of its most active users have belonged to the board since then. It currently boasts over 2,500 members and over 1 million posts.
Although it is not confirmed members all members are current of former NYPD, the board discusses topics specific to that department. On Thursday, a member noted that the NYPD has been without a permanent inspector general for over a year. The inspector general’s office investigates police misconduct. The member who posted the story commented that the NYPD had a “job opening for [a] real big cheese eater,” along with a picture of a rat.
The Daily Dot previously reported on Thee Rant in 2020. Thee Rant is the successor to a similarly named message board that shut down after a high-ranking New York Police Department (NYPD) officer was found to have expressed “racist, misogynistic, antisemitic, and homophobic sentiments” on the forum. The officer denied it but was fired following an internal investigation.
After the previous board shut down, members migrated to Thee Rant.
The discussion there is still largely led by a handful of highly engaged users and features posts denigrating liberals, espousing conspiracy theories, and praising far-right figures.
It is possible that some members are not current or former police officers. A reporter submitted a request to join Thee Rant; that request is pending as of this writing.
The NYPD didn’t respond to a request for comment sent via email on Thursday. Thee Rant’s administrators didn’t respond to a message seeking comment on Thursday.
Many of Thee Rant’s members’ usernames and avatars are police-themed, and they often discuss topics of interest to the NYPD and police generally.
Earlier this week, a member asked people to donate to save New York City retiree healthcare.
Also this week, a particularly active user urged members to boycott Ben & Jerry’s because its founders recently protested police brutality. The post prompted comments such as, “Where is Paul Revere when you need to be warned of the communists coming? And the Minutemen to take [them] on?” and “I have never have had their product they have always been POS and very Anti-Cop.”
But they don’t have the same vitriol toward the Jan. 6 rioters who gave Capitol officers concussions, broken bones, and other injuries. Members of Thee Rant have a lot of sympathy for the rioters. One recently referred to convicted rioter Jacob Chansley, better known as the QAnon Shaman, as a “political prisoner.” Another called former Vice President Mike Pence a “turncoat.”
Thee Rant is filled with posts denying the severity of the Capitol riot, defending rioters who attacked police, and attacking law enforcement for their conduct during and after the riot.
Tucker Carlson’s recent segment in which he characterized the violent attack on democracy as a peaceful protest, which drew criticism from even prominent conservatives, caused a positive stir on Thee Rant, despite Carlson’s claim that police were lying about an officer dying in the line of duty.
Thee Rant moderator LibwithaClue, who uses an avatar of a New York City police detective’s badge, shared Carlson’s assertion that Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick’s death from a stroke after collapsing later that night wasn’t caused by the riot. “These animals who hated President Trump lied to the American people about a man’s death for political purposes,” LibwithaClue wrote.
A member who goes by RetPDDet shared a common conspiracy theory that the FBI set the whole thing up. “Innocent Americans are imprisoned to this day, most without as much as a Charge or an Indictment ever being filed in any Court,” RetPDDet opined.
Those incarcerated over the Capitol riot have either been charged or convicted.
Some members of Thee Rant blame the Capitol police for initiating the violence that day. Police are often accused of unprovoked attacks; it’s exceedingly rare that other officers take issue with this.
“I knew what this was the minute it happened. The American people need to rise up and demand justice,” user MeznoktoZ wrote of claims Capitol Police fired on the “innocent crowd.”
Others took issue with the excessive use of force by cops that day, a subject matter police have never seemed show much interest in.
“Not once in the DOJ report do they describe the brutal pummeling [a protester] received at the hands of the Capitol Police officers. The fact that they ignored police brutality in their report is absolutely frig,” wrote one user.
“Hold everyone accountable, especially the scumbag cops who took part in the setup,” MeznoktoZ added.
Many police officers participated in the Capitol riot, some of whom have been charged and convicted. Retired NYPD Officer Carpenter was among them.
Last week, a jury convicted Carpenter of multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for entering the Capitol, refusing to leave when commanded by the police, and slapping at officers’ arms as they tried to hold her back, which Law & Crime reports was captured on video.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department released a video of Carpenter screaming, “I’m a fucking animal!” while inside the Capitol.
To members of Thee Rant, Carpenter was convicted for merely shaking a tambourine.
“Those who’s lives matter can burn loot and murder, white folks shake a tambourine and go to jail!!!” wrote one, likely referring to the Black Lives Matter protests over police brutality.
Several suggested that Carpenter should sue the government for charging her. One expressed hope that Trump will be elected in 2024 and pardon all the rioters.
That a cop could be charged for their actions that day left members of New York City’s finest stunned.
“So much for a jury of her peers,” one wrote about her being charged in D.C. “She would have fared much better if she were a crackhead who stabbed kids.”
“Where did my country go?” asked the user who posted the news of Carpenter’s conviction.
“BIDEN’S AMERICA,” replied another, with a barfing emoji.