What is the B Squad, which a retired CFD firefighter is alleged to have been with at Jan. 6 attack?

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Who was the 'B Squad' seen at the January 6 US Capitol attack?
Members of the B Squad at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 made no effort to hide their allegiance, wearing patches that identified themselves with the Florida-based group.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is new information in the case against a former Chicago firefighter who is facing charges after the January 6 Capitol Hill uprising

When the Capitol came under siege on that fateful early January day in 2021, authorities say Joseph Pavlik was with B Squad militiamen, which federal investigators described a sub-group according of the larger Guardians of Freedom.

READ MORE: Retired CFD firefighter charged in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, allegedly part of far-right group

Members of the B Squad made no effort to hide their allegiance, wearing patches that identified themselves with the Florida-based group.

"We knew about the Oath Keepers, we knew about the Proud Boys, but now we're seeing a whole number of other groups. The Three Percenters, that is B group, which suggests that there were quite a few, albeit smaller, but quite a few organized groups at this route. It's just that the picture becomes clearer over time with these charges," said ABC7 legal analyst Gil Soffer. "It may or may not further this idea of a grand conspiracy. There could have been multiple conspiracy separate ones involving the Proud Boys, involving the Oath Keepers, involving these smaller groups. What it does do is further the notion that there was organization behind this conduct. And with respect to this in this particular defendant, it would certainly offer some evidence of intent on his part."

Pavlik was a firefighter in Chicago beginning in 1981. He retired from the department in 2013, but his presence as a former public servant is attracting attention from authorities.

"The significance is less legal than it is just optical. It can also have an effect ultimately on how a judge will view it if he pleads guilty, or if he goes to trial and loses it will not work to his benefit probably, that he was once in the public service he should have known that," Soffer explained.

Pavlik's Chicago attorney Larry Beaumont told the I-Team their next court date has been moved to a week from Wednesday.

His only other comment was that both sides agree Pavlik is presumed to be innocent.

With the FBI zeroing in on suspected members of the B Squad and other alleged extremist groups that descended on the Capitol January 6, the Department of Justice is plowing ahead in the biggest criminal investigation in its 153 year history.