Boston officer behind ‘Back the Blue’ rallies under scrutiny for social media posts, alleged attendance at insurrection

He is one of a handful of area residents under scrutiny following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Boston police officer Joe Abasciano spoke at a rally against the Massachusetts Police Reform Bill in Burlington on Aug. 12, 2020.

The Boston police officer under investigation for sending tweets attacking the former vice president and attending a January rally that led to an attempted overthrow of the government is a 13-year veteran who is perhaps best known for organizing local Back the Blue rallies across Massachusetts, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Joe Abasciano, a retired Marine who served in Iraq, coordinated the state Republican Party’s effort last fall to persuade candidates to oppose police reforms and is well known in local GOP circles. He is one of a handful of area residents under scrutiny following the Jan. 6 riot in Washington.

The Boston Police Department opened an internal investigation in mid-January after the Globe shared Twitter posts by a user, @mailboxjoe, which another poster had publicly identified as Abasciano. On the day of the riot, the account posted photos in D.C. of the crowds, calling it a “day for choosing.” It would go on to call former vice president Mike Pence, who permitted the certification of votes to proceed, “not a [godly] man” and accuse him of treason. “I hope you never sleep well again,” @mailboxjoe wrote. “[Y]our Treasonous Act lead [sic] to the murder of an innocent girl and the death of America.”

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