Images of protestors turned violent insurrectionists dominated television screens across the country earlier this week as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, crossed police barricades and attempted to intervene with the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
On Jan. 6, pro-Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol to condemn the certification vote, and some have since been identified and are now facing charges.
One man, documented on video and in photos, wore a bandana over his face, helmet, had body armor, tactical gear, and carried zip-tie handcuffs onto the Senate floor.
According to a report from The New Yorker, John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, informed the FBI that he thought the man in the photos was retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., a Texas-based Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran.
Scott-Railton told The New Yorker that he was attempting to identify the people involved in the attack and used a variety of methods in order to gain a positive identification.
“I used a number of techniques to hone in on his identity, including facial recognition and image enhancement, as well as seeking contextual clues from his military paraphernalia,” Scott-Railton said.
According to the report, Brock, 53, was “wearing several patches on his combat helmet and body armor, including one bearing a yellow fleur de lis, the insignia of the 706th Fighter Squadron. He also wore several symbols suggesting that he lived in Texas, including a vinyl tag of the Texas flag overlaid on the skull logo of the Punisher, the Marvel comic-book character.”
The comic-book character and iconography has been adopted by pro-police and military groups and most recently by “white supremacists and followers of QAnon,” the report says.
Additionally, The New Yorker said Scott-Railton discovered a Twitter account associated with Brock that had been recently deactivated. He used a crusader as the account’s avatar.
Brock, a father of three, lives in a Dallas suburb. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1989, majoring in International Relations and Affairs, according to The New Yorker.
“In a LinkedIn profile that Brock recently deleted, he described himself as having served as a chief operations inspector and flight commander with the 706th Fighter Squadron, at one point leading more than two dozen pilots,” The New Yorker report says.
A spokesperson for the Air Force told The New Yorker that Brock is “no longer serving in the Air Force Reserve. He retired in 2014. As a private citizen, the Air Force no longer has jurisdiction over him.”
Brock later confirmed to The New Yorker that he was the man in the photos, but has denied entering Pelosi’s office.
You can read The New Yorker’s full report here.