New Jan. 6 Details Emerge From 20,000 Hours of Newly Released Video

(U.S. Capitol Police, Steve Baker)
April 28, 2024
May 17, 2024

The more than 20,000 hours of Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol security video made public by a GOP-controlled House committee since November 2023 have started to fill in details long hidden by the now-defunct Jan. 6 Select Committee.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) ordered security video be uploaded to publicly accessible servers beginning last November. Eventually, staff from the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight established a channel on the video platform Rumble to store the footage.

“Today’s release marks the halfway point of the estimated 40,000 hours we intend to publish,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, said on April 15.

“Not only are we releasing all video footage, but we will continue to release all findings, videos, and documents until everything is available for the public to see the full picture of the events surrounding that day,” Mr. Loudermilk said in a statement.

Ashli Babbitt

The fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ms. Babbitt received no attention from the Jan. 6 committee.

While the shooting itself was captured on video only by bystanders in the hallway outside the Speaker’s Lobby, security video showed efforts by FBI medics, Capitol Police tactical officers, and paramedics to save Ms. Babbitt’s life.

As rioting raged in the Speaker’s Lobby hallway just after 2:40 p.m., it seemed virtually no one noticed Lt. Michael Byrd slip out from his hidden position with his Glock pistol aimed at the dozens of people just feet to his right.

Ms. Babbitt spent her few minutes in the hallway trying to keep the crowd from spiraling further into mob behavior. The former Air Force military police officer shouted at three Capitol Police officers to “call [expletive] help” before she used a left hook to sideline rioter Zachary Alam for smashing several windows.

Mr. Byrd lunged forward and fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt as she attempted to climb through a broken-out side panel of the Speaker’s Lobby entrance. The shooting, which was never announced as an officer-involved incident on the Capitol Police radio, sent would-be rescuers toward the Capitol’s South Door.

The first video indication of a response to calls for help was at the South Door of the Capitol just before 2:50 p.m. A Capitol Police officer led a five-man FBI SWAT team into the front of the Hall of Columns.

The FBI agents sailed through the security screening area and turned right down the adjacent hallway. Moments later, Camera 0176 showed, an FBI medic helped Capitol Police carry Ms. Babbitt and lay her on the floor near the magnetometer. She was carried head down with her feet elevated as her upper chest wound began to bleed profusely.

At 2:55:40 p.m., Engine 6 from the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department rumbled through the South Barricade, followed a minute later by Rescue Unit 10. Sgt. Paramedic Tim Bennett hustled through the barricade on foot just ahead of the ambulance, CCTV video showed.

At 2:58:37 p.m., paramedics with a gurney rushed through the South Door Vestibule, security Camera 0181 showed. Ms. Babbitt was moved from the floor to the gurney at 2:59:33 p.m., while a paramedic performed CPR.

The gurney was maneuvered around the magnetometer and out the South Door. Video shows the entryway was not fully taped off as a crime scene until 3:58 p.m., allowing police officers and protesters to walk through the blood trail on the floor left as Ms. Babbitt was wheeled out.

As the gurney got close to Rescue Unit 10 in the South Barricade Plaza, a group of protesters crowded around the back of the ambulance, security video showed. Some shouted at police for the shooting of Ms. Babbitt.

Ms. Babbitt was placed into the ambulance, which rushed through the South Barricade at 3:02:03 p.m. She was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m. at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Her widower and her estate have filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S government.

Police Swarm Capitol

An immediate effect of the fatal shooting was a swarming police presence in and around the Capitol, security video showed. Mr. Byrd made a radio report after he shot Ms. Babbitt at 2:44 p.m., claiming that he was under fire and was preparing to return fire. That was never true.

Mr. Babbitt’s lawsuit alleges that the false radio report, which was never corrected or retracted, created a dangerous situation in the Capitol since responding officers had no idea if there were armed rioters loose. In truth, Mr. Byrd’s shot was the only gun fired and no officers were confronted with guns or gunfire.

Security video showed the anxiety and fear on the faces of police officers who moved through the Capitol with weapons drawn.

At 2:47 p.m., an armored BearCat from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) pulled into the South Barricade Plaza. Just before 2:49 p.m., a six-person ATF SWAT team rushed in the South Door and went up the stairs toward the House Chamber.

Minutes later, several dozen Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers marched across the South Barricade Plaza toward the Capitol.

At 2:48 p.m., seven Capitol Police officers with guns drawn moved up the House Gallery stairs, captured on Camera 7218. Minutes later, protesters with their hands up streamed down the stairway.

On the third floor near the House Gallery, surprised protesters were met by SWAT officers with raised M4 rifles. One man who reached the top of the stairs dropped to the floor with his hands raised when he spotted the flashlight on one of the police rifles.

Down the hallway, House members and staff who had been holed up in the gallery seating sections were led down the adjacent stairs by officers with guns drawn. That evacuation was captured on Camera 360.

Use of Force

Shortly after Ms. Babbitt was shot at the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby, police began pushing protesters out the Upper House Door. Several fights broke out between some of the witnesses to the shooting and police trying to clear the hallway, according to video from Camera 267.

One protester was sent sliding along the floor by police and bumped into the metal detector at the doorway, video showed. An outright brawl broke out between police and protesters who had been in the hallway when Ms. Babbitt was shot. Police forced them out the Upper House Door just before 3 p.m., video showed.

One of the most jarring new videos shows police giving protester Daniel Dean Egtvedt the heave-ho out the South Door, slamming him head-first into the outer doors and causing him to collapse. That incident happened after the man verbally abused and scuffled with police.

Mr. Egtvedt, 60, of Oakland, Maryland, was shown on bodycam and security video berating police officers in various parts of the Capitol.

Trouble started in the Hall of Columns just after 3 p.m. Security video shows Mr. Egtvedt heading for the exit at the South Door. When he changed his mind and tried to turn back, police stood in his way.

A scuffle ensued and police took Mr. Egtvedt to the floor.

While lying supine, Mr. Egtvedt shouted, screamed, and squealed at the police. After more than a minute on his back, Mr. Egtvedt was helped up by police, video showed.

They rushed him to the exit and slammed him head-first into the outer doors. He fell to the ground and lay there for a few moments.

Police got him on his feet and he tried to fight his way back inside. Eventually, he walked away but continued his verbal abuse of the officers, the video shows.

Mr. Egtvedt was found guilty on seven charges in a December 2022 bench trial before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper. In March 2023, he was sentenced to 42 months in prison for two counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and several misdemeanors for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

In another incident, police inside the Senate Carriage Door removed two uncooperative protesters just after 3:05 p.m. A man in a blue jacket and camouflage ball cap scuffled with an MPD officer, who lifted him off his feet and shoved him out the double doors, video showed.

About a half-minute later, several officers dragged a female protester down the same hallway. Camera 113 footage shows the woman kicking at the officers several times before they picked her up, dragged her through the doors, and deposited her on her backside.

While some have argued that protesters who entered the Capitol were all peaceful, security video shows that wasn’t the case.

When crowds breached the Senate entry near Room S-131 at about 2:45 p.m., a man in a black helmet used a floor stand to bash on the door of a conference room. When his effort failed, a group of five men used a heave-ho maneuver to force the door open.

At 3 p.m., video shows, police appeared to fire pepper balls into the crowd, causing protesters to surge out of the doors.

Officer in Distress

Crowd-control chemicals caused myriad problems both inside the Capitol and across the windswept grounds on Jan. 6. The sprayed chemical irritant oleoresin capsicum (OC) and incendiary tear gas were largely ineffective on the massive crowds that surrounded the Capitol.

Some rioters spread across the long police lines on the west and east sides of the building and brought their own regular strength OC and its more potent cousin, bear repellent.

Misfired tear-gas canisters exposed hundreds of people along the West Plaza who didn’t have gas masks. The stiff breeze often blew high-velocity pepper spray back into the faces of officers.

Security video from inside the Capitol captured the struggle faced by one officer who had trouble breathing after being exposed to the airborne chemicals. Video from Capitol Police Camera 006 shows the officer walking gingerly down a basement hallway at 3:00 p.m.

A passing officer then fetches medical aid after seeing his colleague struggling to breathe.

For the next several minutes, more officers gathered to offer support. Medics from a tactical team treated the officer with a nebulizer before he was moved to a wheelchair and taken to a waiting rescue squad at 3:59 p.m.

Helping the Injured

At least seven protesters were killed or injured at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Security video captured the rescue of one man who was pushed off a stairway ledge by a Capitol Police officer.
Derrick Vargo, 34, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, was seriously injured when he was pushed off the outer side of the stone balustrade along the Northwest Steps. Mr. Vargo told The Epoch Times in 2022 that he was attempting to unfurl his Trump flag and hang it from the staircase when he was pushed from the 20-foot-high ledge.
Security video shows a police officer shove Mr. Vargo off the ledge just after 2:02 p.m. In a federal lawsuit filed in January 2024, Mr. Vargo identified the Capitol Police officer as Bryant Williams. Independent journalist Stephen Horn disclosed Mr. Williams’ alleged ties to the case in March 2023.

The suit claims that Mr. Williams, “acting under the color of law, intentionally attempted to murder Derrick Vargo.”

Mr. Williams has not responded to the suit as of April 24, according to the court docket.

After Mr. Vargo hit the ground, he blacked out. Bystanders and police loaded him onto a section of bicycle-rack barricade to carry him to a nearby rescue squad.

Several security cameras captured the rescue of Mr. Vargo, including a ground view from Camera 0608, and an aerial view from Camera 0946. Camera 0603 shows a group of seven people carrying Mr. Vargo on the makeshift gurney up the Northwest Walk at 2:11 p.m.