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Press Release

Mississippi Man Arrested on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges for Alleged Conduct During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

          WASHINGTON — A Mississippi man was arrested today on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his alleged conduct during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. His alleged actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

          Thomas Eugene Tatum, 48, of Greenville, Mississippi, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia and in a subsequent indictment with the felony offenses of civil disorder.  In addition to the felony, Tatum is also charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds.

          The FBI arrested Tatum today in Oxford, Mississippi, and he made his initial appearance in the Northern District of Mississippi.

          According to court documents, it is alleged that Tatum was identified on the Lower West Plaza of U.S. Capitol grounds shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 6th, 2021. There, Tatum is seen on police body-worn camera footage repeatedly berating and taunting police officers of both the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) as they tried to keep rioters from advancing on the U.S. Capitol Building.

          Court documents say that throughout this period, Tatum can be seen in video footage face-to-face with uniformed officers and, at various times, placing himself in front of the large crowd of rioters whose advance across the Lower West Plaza forced uniformed USCP and MPD officers to retreat toward the plaza's southeast corner. While at or near the front of the advancing rioters, Tatum can also be heard urging his fellow rioters to take officers' helmets, weapons, and heads. Court documents state that as Tatum and the rioters advanced, Tatum can also be seen pointing a flagpole he was carrying at officers, which contributed to the officers' retreat.

          Open-source footage shows that after police retreated from the Lower West Plaza, Tatum later appeared further inside the restricted area, going from the Lower West Plaza to the Lower West Terrace. After making his way to the Lower West Terrace, Tatum can then be seen in open-source video footage joining a large crowd of rioters seeking to enter the Capitol building via the Tunnel entrance, the site of some of the most violent attacks on law enforcement on January 6th, shortly after 4:15 p.m.

          Court documents say that Tatum joined with a large crowd of rioters inside the Tunnel and made repeated collective efforts to surge forward against a line of police blocking their progress. Capitol building CCTV footage then shows Tatum and other rioters being gradually expelled from the Tunnel by police officers. 

          This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Mississippi.

          The case is being investigated by the FBI's Jackson, Mississippi and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

          In the 41 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,450 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 500 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing. 

          Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

          A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated June 28, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-534