HOUSTON — Less than a week into his congressional career, Troy Nehls found himself performing a duty more aligned with his previous job as Fort Bend County Sheriff.
Nehls was sworn into office on Sunday and was in the capitol Wednesday as rioters forced their way in. A photo of Nehls helping U.S. Capitol police, who had their guns drawn, maintain a barricade has been featured in outlets around the world, including the cover of TIME. (Nehls is wearing the light blue shirt.)
On Twitter, Congressman Nehls later indicated he even spoke with the protesters to try and calm the situation:
“I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police barricading entrance to our sacred House chamber, while trying to calm the situation talking to protestors. What I’m witnessing is a disgrace. We’re better than this. Violence is NEVER the answer. Law and order!”
Many praised Nehls for his actions but also criticized him for objecting to the counting of the electoral votes.
The day before the U.S. Capitol breach, he tweeted:
“I'm proudly announcing I will OBJECT to the counting of electoral votes in disputed states tomorrow. You sent me to Congress to fight for President Trump and election integrity and that's exactly what I'm doing."