K-State student, graduate teaching assistant arrested in relation to Capitol riots

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Will Pope, doctoral student in leadership communication and graduate teaching assistant, was arrested Friday in relation to the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021. (Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. Feb. 12.

Will Pope, doctoral student in leadership communication and graduate teaching assistant, was arrested Friday in relation to the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, according to a release by Bridget Patton, spokesperson for the FBI.

Pope was arrested on multiple charges, including obstruction or impeding any official proceeding, civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, impeding passage through the Capitol grounds of buildings, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

FBI special agents, members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and officers with the Topeka, Kansas, Police Department arrested Pope.

They also arrested his brother Michael Pope on Friday.

Pope told a Topeka Captial-Journal reporter he was at the Capitol to “exercise my first amendment rights and remain loyal to the United States of America.” Additionally, Pope said he was not violent during the riot.

Michelle Geering, Kansas State public information officer, said the university condemns the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“A graduate assistant at K-State has been charged with federal crimes in conjunction with this event,” Geering said via email. “The university is conducting an internal review and will not comment on future personnel actions.”

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Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.