Alleged Capitol rioter’s laptop unlocked using facial recognition

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A federal judge on Wednesday ordered an alleged Jan. 6 Capitol rioter to unlock his laptop using facial recognition.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich granted a request from the federal government to place Guy Reffitt in front of his Microsoft Surface Pro to unlock it, CNN reported.

Reffitt’s lawyer confirmed to the news network that the laptop was unlocked during the hearing.

Reffitt was arrested in Texas in January and is facing five charges in connection with the Capitol breach.

He was taken into custody after his family told the FBI that he threatened to shoot them if they turned him in.

Reffitt was seen in Jan. 6 video wearing a blue jacket over a black tactical-style vest and a black helmet with a camera attached. He allegedly charged at Capitol Police officers, who were able to fend him off with pepper spray.

In a June 18 court filing, prosecutors sought to order Reffitt to unlock the laptop because they believed it contained video from the camera.

The FBI recovered the helmet and the camera from Reffitt’s home, where they also recovered the laptop. One of Reffitt’s family members said he showed them video of Jan. 6 from the laptop.

Prosecutors asked the court to order Reffitt to “place his face in front of the computer’s camera, so that the computer can be biometrically unlocked.” If that failed, the court would order Reffitt to “type his passcode or PIN into the computer.”

William Welch, Reffitt’s attorney, wrote in a separate court filing that an attempt to biometrically unlock the laptop was “fair” after his client said he no longer remembered the passcode or PIN.

The Hill has reached out to Welch for comment on Wednesday’s proceedings.

Reffitt pleaded not guilty in March to four charges in relation to the Capitol insurrection: civil disorder, obstruction of official proceeding and aiding and abetting and as well as obstruction of justice.

He was later charged in a superseding indictment with “entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon,” becoming the first Jan. 6 defendant to face firearms charges. Authorities allege that Reffitt traveled to the Capitol with an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun.

Prosecutors say Reffitt claimed he had “every constitutional right to carry a weapon and take over the Congress.”

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