Thursday, March 25, 2021

Former High Point Police Officer Charged With Conspiracy as Oath Keeper


Laura Steele (left) with her
brother, captured by video
surveillance in the Washington Metro

Laura Steele, a former High Point police officer facing charges in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, will be released from federal custody but won’t be able to leave her house, and she cannot have any contact with her co-defendants which includes her brother (Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Fla.,) and cannot have access to any electronic device, including cellphones and computers.

Prosecutors have emails that Steele sent just a few days before the Capitol riots, asking to become a member of the Oath Keepers. She touted her 13-year experience as a law-enforcement officer, including being a member of SWAT, court documents said.

Laura Steele was a police officer with the High Point Police Department from 1992 to 2004, when she was fired for conduct toward superior personnel, absence from duty, and violation of communications policy. While at the police department, she worked as a school resource officer. Steele was investigated — and later cleared — in two separate incidents where she pepper-sprayed students, an 11-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy.

She is married to Kenneth Steele, a former assistant chief of the High Point Police Department. They have two children, Jacob and Seth. Jacob is a police officer with the High Point Police Department, and Seth plans to join the department soon.

The U.S. Attorney in charge of her case alleges that after she and her brother came back to North Carolina, she deleted Facebook posts, call logs, and text messages from her phone. It also appears that she got rid of the clothing she wore, including clothing with Oath Keepers insignia, in the days after she returned from Washington. Federal agents executing a search warrant on her home could not find the clothing. The prosecutor said that’s where her experience as a law-enforcement officer came in; she knew how to cover her tracks. “She knew how to do that and why it was important to do that because of her law-enforcement background,” the prosecutor said.

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