Once inside, it was clear Riley made it to sensitive locations in a place where the public is normally not welcome. He posted photos from various parts of the building, including the National Statuary Hall, whose collection includes representatives of prominent Native figures. He also ended up in the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. One photo he shared showed the Democrat’s name and title on a large wooden sign. “Does this mean I took my land back?” Riley posted once inside Pelosi’s office. He was invoking a popular slogan aimed at returning stolen land to tribal nations, as if to prove his Native bonafides to those following online.
"It's freezing outside but I'm here cause my President called me": In his first trip to Washington, D.C., Jorge Riley stormed the U.S. Capitol as part of a violent attempt to keep Donald Trump in office.— indianz.com (@indianz) January 15, 2021
AND he documented it all on social media.
Here he is in fake warpaint. pic.twitter.com/NaE0KMbNPT
Several photos Riley posted are consistent with those from the Speaker’s Office, down to the railing and the iconic views of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, where the inauguration of Democrat President-elect Joe Biden is set to take place on January 20. The structure where the oath of office will be administered is visible throughout the images. “What do you think I came for?” Riley said in the caption of a photo that showed the scaffolding for the inauguration. Other photos showed the National Museum of the American Indian, where the National Native American Veterans Memorial was recently dedicated to honor the large numbers of American Indians and Alaska Natives who have served the nation since colonial times. According to Riley’s own social media, he too served in the U.S. military. “Hey We’re storming the Capitol…. what are you doing?” Riley boasted on January 6. Once the violent siege was all said and done, Riley shared his exploits on the steps of the building. He told another person that he had been sprayed with a chemical agent and with fire extinguisher foam. He told the person: “Luckily I didn’t get it on my jacket.” “But my hair did get messed up,” Riley added, with his makeup all but washed away from his face. By the end of the day, Riley found himself back on the National Mall. In another photo he shared, he can be seen drinking an alcoholic beverage. “I don’t like this town,” he wrote.
"Does this mean I took my land back?" After breaking into the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Jorge Riley made it to some sensitive locations. This photo here is consistent with views from the Speaker's Office.— indianz.com (@indianz) January 15, 2021
As if to prove his Native bonafides, he shared a popular slogan. pic.twitter.com/mxxb8URlG2
Riley describes himself as a “French-speaking Native American Messianic Jewish right-wing conservative Republican.” However, he has provided scant information about supposed tribal affiliation, if any. Riley did not immediately respond to a request for comment placed through social media. The exchange with Riley was apparently posted on a social media account by a person with sympathies to Trump and the Republican Party. This person has since deleted the account where the video was shared. The video has since been widely viewed after being posted online by someone else who captured it from the original social media account. The attack on January 6 contributed to the deaths of five people, including a law enforcement officer. Federal authorities are investigating the death of Brian David Sicknick, who was 42 years old. “My heart is with the family of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died defending our nation’s temple of democracy,” Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico), a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, said on January 8. “We must honor his life by holding those who attacked him & our Capitol accountable.”
"Hey We're storming the Capitol…. what are you doing?" With the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Mall in the background, Jorge Riley kept his social media followers updated on the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. #Insurrection #DC pic.twitter.com/h4Y6quK75L— indianz.com (@indianz) January 15, 2021
The Department of Justice has been taking an aggressive role in bringing cases against those involved in the violence. As of early Friday evening, criminal dockets for nearly 50 cases involving more than 70 people have been posted online. All of the cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia, according to the department. “We will have no tolerance whatsoever for any attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on January 20th that our Constitution calls for,” Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will have no tolerance for any attempts to forcefully occupy government buildings.” “There is no excuse for violence, vandalism, or any other form of lawlessness,” Rosen said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively seeking tips for those wanted in connection with the violence last week. Information can be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. The agency can also be reached by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
My heart is with the family of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died defending our nation’s temple of democracy.— Rep. Deb Haaland (@RepDebHaaland) January 8, 2021
We must honor his life by holding those who attacked him & our Capitol accountable.
Native America Calling: The 2023 Indigenous MacArthur Fellows
San Manuel Band donates $1 million to non-profits on Giving Tuesday
Montana Free Press: County withdraws from tribal law enforcement agreement
Cronkite News: Native youth come together for annual White House Forum
Native America Calling: Igloos and traditional winter homes
NAFOA: 5 Things You Need to Know this Week
OJ and Barb Semans: Indigenous people of this country understand suffering
Tom Cole: Promoting tribal sovereignty and self-determination in Congress
Native America Calling: Native in the Spotlight with Tescha Hawley
VIDEO: Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren at National Congress of American Indians
Native America Calling: Colonization and the Wampanoag Story by Linda Coombs
Native America Calling: The disparities facing South Dakota’s Native foster children
Native America Calling: The trouble finding safe drinking water
NAFOA: 5 Things You Need to Know this Week