Former N.Y.P.D. Officer Is Convicted of Taking Part in Capitol Riot

A former New York City police officer was convicted this week of several crimes for her role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, during which, prosecutors said, she pushed against and slapped the arms of police officers, all while yelling and wielding a tambourine.

A federal jury in Washington, D.C., found the retired officer, Sara Carpenter, guilty Thursday on seven felony and misdemeanor charges that included civil disorder, obstruction of official proceeding and entering or remaining in a restricted building or ground, according to court records.

Ms. Carpenter, 53, is among about 1,000 people to be charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, prosecutors said. She and other supporters of former President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol that day in a bid to disrupt the certification of President Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. The first person to be convicted, Guy Wesley Reffitt, was found guilty last March of obstructing Congress’s certification of the election results and other crimes.

Security footage captured Ms. Carpenter, left, wielding a tambourine inside the Capitol. Credit…Department of Justice

Ms. Carpenter was charged after security cameras captured her confronting a phalanx of officers as they guarded a hallway leading to the U.S. Senate chambers, prosecutors said. Despite having been told to leave the premises, she stayed for a half-hour, prosecutors said.

At one point, prosecutors said, she could be heard yelling at the officers, “I’m an animal,” with a common vulgarity added for emphasis.

When she finally left the building, prosecutors said, she was recorded on video saying: “The breach was made. It needs to calm down now. Congress needs to come out. They need to certify Trump as president. This is our house.”

A lawyer for Ms. Carpenter, Michelle Gelernt, declined to comment on Friday. The New York Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Ms. Carpenter’s service as an officer. Ms. Carpenter is to be sentenced on July 14.

About a day after the attack on the Capitol, the F.B.I. received an anonymous tip that Ms. Carpenter had called a relative and told that person that she had made it inside the Capitol and had been hit with tear gas, according to a criminal complaint. She was interviewed by federal officers about a week and a half later, on Jan. 18, the complaint says.

Ms. Carpenter told investigators that she had left her home in New York and driven to Washington “on or about” the evening of Jan. 5, 2021, the complaint says. An E-ZPass tag attached to her vehicle confirmed that she had made the trip between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Jan. 6, the complaint says.

Once she got to Washington, Ms. Carpenter told investigators, she monitored Mr. Trump’s tweets to find out on where to meet for the rally he had scheduled for Jan. 6 and then joined a large crowd of his supporters as it descended on the Capitol.

Ms. Carpenter said that “she observed police yelling for individuals to get out, then pushing and shoving the crowd,” according to the complaint. She also told investigators that she had been trampled and pepper-sprayed.

Using video that Ms. Carpenter provided and security camera footage from the building, investigators were able to track her movements through the Capitol. She also voluntarily turned over the tambourine she said she had carried inside the Capitol, the complaint says.

Another former New York City police officer, Thomas Webster, was convicted last May for his role in the riot on charges that included assault. In September, Mr. Webster, who swung a metal flagpole at a Washington officer during the riot, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.