Justice Misinformation & Disinformation

UPDATE: Portage police employee, Michigan Republican Party leader in D.C. on January 6

Jamie Swafford, a former Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Deputy, believed the presidential election was stolen by Democrats and took pictures with Proud Boys at rallies.

A former Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s deputy who is now a Portage police records clerk and on the leadership of the Michigan Republican Party was allegedly in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, one of a number of post-election rallies she attended claiming Donald Trump won the presidency. Those include a Lansing protest during which she posed for pictures with suspected members of the Proud Boys gang who appear to have been in Kalamazoo last summer.

“Feeling excited,” Jamie Swafford wrote in a caption of a picture of the White House posted to her Facebook page, timestamped late afternoon on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C.

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A screenshot from Jamie Swafford’s Facebook page. Swafford appears to have been in Washington D.C. during the insurrection on Jan. 6.

“Going to be wild,” one person commented on the post, a nod to the term then-President Trump used to encourage people to attend the Jan. 6 rally.

“Be safe, stay strong,” another person commented.

“We sent two busses full from Muskegon!” wrote a third person, who said they were going to a simultaneous rally in Lansing then returning to Muskegon for an after party inside a local bar and restaurant.

The Jan. 6 rally turned into a mob that marched to the U.S. Capitol Building, where Congress was certifying the election results. That turned into a riot and insurrection when the mob entered the building, destroying property – many threatening and carrying out violence. Five people died, including one insurrectionist who was shot attempting to enter a secure area near members of Congress, and a member of the Capitol Police who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher and died at the hospital.

There are no known pictures of Swafford inside the Capitol, and the White House photo is the only one in Washington during that time frame that could be seen on her Facebook page. The picture was removed from her Facebook page late Thursday evening.

NowKalamazoo called Swafford earlier in the evening to provide an opportunity to comment, but when asked the first question – about her whereabouts on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. – she hung up. She did not reply in time for publication to the two subsequent text messages.

Swafford is one of 10 people listed on the Michigan Republican Party’s website as party leadership. Her biography on the site states she is the Ethnic Vice Chair of the state party.

“Jamie currently works in Law Enforcement in Kalamazoo County,” the site says. She is married to Thomas Swafford, who is also a Sheriff’s Deputy and ran for Sheriff twice – once as a Democrat and, last year, as a Republican. He lost both races.

“She has hit the ground running to promote recruitment candidates,” the website says.

Swafford was initially believed to be an active county sheriff’s deputy.

Sheriff Richard Fuller did not reply in time for publication to a text message and voice mail seeking comment.

On Friday, after initial publication, Kalamazoo County Administrator Tracie Moored told NowKalamazoo: “I can confirm the person you referenced is not a county employee.”

“She left the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office in April of 2017,” Moored wrote in an email response.

Mary Beth Block, the public information officer for the city of Portage, confirmed Swafford’s employment as a records clerk for Portage Public Safety.

“This is the first we heard,” Block said, when asked if Swafford’s whereabouts on Jan. 6 in Washington D.C., or her ties to hate groups such as the Proud Boys will be investigated. “We will be looking into it.”

Swafford’s activities protesting the 2020 election results were first collated on social media, which NowKalamazoo verified.

Swafford took part in multiple “Stop the Steal” rallies in Washington, D.C, and Michigan, according to dozens of pictures posted to Facebook. She was a speaker at two rallies on the steps of the Michigan Capitol Building in November, according to the pictures.

Jamie Swafford posed with a Proud Boys member who appears to be Robert Nabors. (Screenshot from Jamie Swafford’s Facebook page)

In pictures posted Nov. 29 from a rally the day prior, Swafford posed with what appears to be Robert Nabors, a leader in the Lansing chapter of the Proud Boys, and with Grand Rapids based member Jeremiah Bannister. Both attended the Aug. 15 Proud Boys rally-turned-street fight in Kalamazoo.

In December, at a rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, Swafford posted pictures of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn speaking to the crowd. In 2017 Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was pardoned by Trump on Nov. 25, 2020.

At the same rally, Swafford took a picture with Trump confidante and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who was seen at the White House in early January with a document suggesting then-President Trump declare martial law.

In none of the pictures is she wearing a Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department uniform.

In nearly all of the pictures, whether inside or outside, Swafford is neither wearing a mask nor maintaining social distancing as recommended by the scientific community to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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