Story by Ford Fischer, Videos by Ford Fischer & Jon Farina & TJ Jones, Photos by Ford Fischer

Hundreds of journalists and law enforcement gathered Saturday on the west side of the United States Capitol amidst a “Justice for J6” rally taking place there, which drew a modestly sized group of supporters.

The event was the latest of several in favor of releasing January 6 defendants, which began this summer. Previous rallies occurred at the Department of Justice, the DC jail, and New York City.

Speakers – including Republican congressional candidates Mike Collins (GA) and Joe Kent for Congress (WA) – spoke on stage for about an hour.

“It’s banana republic stuff when political prisoners are arrested and denied due process,” Kent claimed of January 6 defendants.

“I see people who are being held for non-violent crimes, and they deserve their day in court,” said Collins. “They deserve to have their sixth and eight amendments upheld, otherwise they are political prisoners.

Among the attendees at Saturday’s “Justice for J6” defendants rally was a man with a raccoon hat (which he wanted to be very clear is different than Viking attire or felt) who was confronted by counter-protester and press.

“I have little respect for Trump anymore, he’s a coward” he said now of the former president.

The man also denied that any assaults on police occurred on January 6. When confronted with footage of a police officer being crushed in a doorway by the crowd at the Capitol and bleeding from the mouth, he asserted that “that’s not assault” because “he could easily back up.”

Counter-protesters also gathered. Some confronted the rally directly and were largely separated by police, while others gathered for a separate event at Freedom Plaza, about a mile away.

Man with concealed firearm displays law enforcement badge

Police surrounded a masked man reportedly armed with a firearm. He presented a badge, apparently identifying himself as law enforcement. Without disarming or handcuffing him, police escorted the man from the event and into a secure area beyond the police line.

United States Capitol Police (USCP) said in a statement that, “At 1:30 pm, someone spotted what appeared to be a handgun on a man in the crowd. The witness told USCP officers, who detained the suspect. At this time, it is not clear why the man was at the demonstration. Officers charged him with 40 U.S. Code § 5104 – Unlawful activities. The man did have a gun.”

The USCP did not address the man’s badge. An inquiry by News2Share currently has not been answered, but this story will be updated if additional statements are made.