FBI agent Stephen Friend had been reassigned from Iowa to Florida when he encountered the FBI’s initiatives to proactively track down and jail rioters sought in connection with the events at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. The FBI asked him why he wouldn’t want to track down those who “killed police officers” that day at the Capitol.
When the query, its justification, and its accuracy were presented to Friend by an FBI superior on August 23, 2022, they were equally disturbing. “I replied that none of the individuals charged with violence at the Capitol on January 6 killed any police officers,” Friend recalled.
At the time, Friend had just filed a complaint against what he perceived to be excessive force being planned against the perpetrators of the January 6 attack in Florida. In an exclusive interview with the Epoch Times, Friend revealed that he had to rectify some of the erroneous information used to justify these tactics.
“There was this pause on his part for a few seconds, like that was new information to him,” Friend recalled in an interview with The Epoch Times. “That was never anything that crossed his mind.”
Special Agent Friend was concerned about the FBI’s intentions to use a tactical squad to arrest a misdemeanor suspect who had already communicated with the FBI on January 6 and was wanted for questioning. FBI agents conducted the interview. However, plans were in place to execute his apprehension with vigor. The use of such force against a nonviolent subject aroused constitutional concerns in the mind of Friend.
“I expressed that I have an oath of office,” Friend said during filming for an upcoming Epoch Times Jan. 6 documentary. “And while I’m aware that an arrest warrant is a legal order from a judge, I have an oath to protect the Constitution. I felt that us being outside the rules with following our case procedures was a potential breach of the Sixth Amendment for due process,” Friend said.
Special agent for the FBI was Friend’s ideal employment. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he spent four years in law enforcement before joining the FBI in 2014.
However, according to Friend, he was told he was a “bad team member” and should not report to work the following day. He was then considered absent without leave (AWOL). Shortly thereafter, his security clearance was revoked. On September 19, 2022, he was fired from his position. His income ceased to exist. He was not permitted to pursue outside employment.
The objections of Friend were only the beginning of his problems with the FBI. Friend relocated his family to Florida in order to investigate human trafficking. According to him, the sexual trafficking of minors and young adults has erupted into an urgent national crisis, but he has been reassigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to investigate and track down suspects in the January 6 attacks.
He is criticizing the FBI’s efforts, which he believes were designed to create the false impression that “domestic terrorism” is a much larger problem than it actually is.
“They’ve chosen to open hundreds of cases and then spread them around the country,” Friend said. “That gives the impression that domestic terrorism is a nationwide threat, when really the numbers the FBI is touting stem from one incident on one day. “That’s a problem for the country,” he said. “The FBI is supposed to stand for law and order, but instead we’re raising the temperature.”
The Epoch Times requested a comment from the FBI regarding the Friend case, but did not receive a response by press time. However, the FBI has commented on the new book by Friend.
However, the FBI indicated serious concerns about Friend’s forthcoming book “True Blue: My Journey from Beat Cop to Suspended FBI Whistleblower.” In an email sent to Friend on April 21, the FBI demanded that 36 pages of his book be redacted, including the entirety of Pages 85-110. He stated that he has no intentions to edit his book.
“Your manuscript was reviewed pursuant to the terms of the [Prepublication Review Policy] and we concluded some of the information presented falls within a restricted area of disclosure,” wrote Joseph E. Bender Jr., acting chief of the FBI Record/Information Dissemination Section. “Prepublication approval is contingent upon removal of the redacted information as shown in the attached version. There is no objection to the remainder of your work, as presented.”
According to the Epoch Times, Friend said he is equally disturbed by how the “process” of the January 6 cases ends up penalizing every suspect before they have their day in court.
“For many people who are being interviewed by the FBI, there’s no case to be built against them for January 6,” he said. “It might be stemming from an anonymous tip, where there’s no cell phone GPS information, no facial recognition software. The FBI is still knocking on that person’s door. That’s an undue stress for anybody.”