EXCLUSIVE: Capitol Police Use of Force Reports Expose Brutality of Unprovoked Attacks Against Jan. 6 Protesters

Conflicting timeline reports and identical language used by numerous officers in separate reports raise questions
By Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Reporter
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: patricia.tolson@epochtimes.us
July 27, 2022 Updated: July 28, 2022

A 104-page report issued three months after the events at the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, said the Capitol Police’s Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) was ordered by supervisors not to use “heavier, less-lethal weapons,” like flash bangs. However, video evidence—along with Capitol Police Use of Force Reports obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times—exposes conflicts in timelines, the brutality of the unprovoked attacks against Jan. 6 protesters, and how leadership ordered the deployment of munitions on a peaceful crowd.

The Video Evidence

Victoria White

According to Police1, the “#1 resource for law enforcement online,” which promotes “the highest standards of business ethics,” police are trained to target large muscle groups like legs, chest, abdomen, and arms with batons. Intentionally striking areas like the head, sternum, and spine are considered to be the same act of deadly force as firing a gun.

However, a video shows Jan. 6 defendant Victoria White being beaten over the head 35 times with a metal baton and punched in the face by an officer of the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia. White, seen wearing a Trump hat, is unarmed and posed no threat to the officer. She raises her hands in defense during the brutal attack, collapsing more than once, only to be stood up by other officers to be maced and beaten again.

According to a Use of Force report filed 1/7/21 by Officer Dante Price, obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times, “approved strike areas” for use of a baton “include arms, legs and large muscle groups.” Injuries suffered by Dante’s victim required hospital transport. Another report of an injury caused by use of a baton, filed 1/8/21 by Officer Ryan Kendall, states “approved target areas” include the “upper abdomen.”

“To add insult to injury,” her legal team said at a Jan. 6, 2022 press conference, “she was indicted for being pushed into the tunnel entrance and for daring to put her hands up in a defensive posture while getting beaten by the police.”

White has filed a $1 million lawsuit against D.C. Police Chief Robert Contree and seven unnamed officers, including one known as “Officer Whiteshirt,” given the moniker as it is believed his clothing identified him as an officer in a position of authority.

Roseanne Boyland

Another video obtained by The Epoch Times shows D.C. Metro Police Officer Lila Morris beating an unconscious 34-year-old Roseanne Boyland of Kennesaw, Georgia with a steel baton and then with a large wooden walking stick. According to witnesses, Boyland lost consciousness and stopped breathing after being crushed beneath the weight of other fallen protesters. Being unconscious, Boyland was no threat to the officer.

Video still from bodycam footage showing Officer Lila Morris picking up a wooden stick that she uses to beat Rosanne Boyland.
Video still from bodycam footage showing Officer Lila Morris picking up a wooden stick that she uses to beat Rosanne Boyland. (Metropolitan Police Department/Graphic by The Epoch Times)

A DC medical examiner claims Boyland died of an accidental overdose of Adderall, a suspicious ruling that sparked outrage from Boyland’s friends and family. Her father, Bret Boyland, said his daughter had been taking Adderall for about 10 years to treat an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Epoch Times Photo
Luke Coffee plans to fight the Jan. 6 charges brought against him by federal prosecutors. (Dixie Dixon/For The Epoch Times)

The Epoch Times reported on Feb. 10, an investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau cleared Morris of any wrongdoing and deemed her beating of the unconscious Boyland as “objectively reasonable.”

A separate report describes how Morris first used the wooden stick while beating Boyland to strike 41-year-old filmmaker Luke Coffee on the left elbow. A second swing missed before she sprayed him in the face with pepper gel. “Morris then inexplicably turned her fury on the motionless Boyland, striking her in the ribs once and twice in the head,” the report said.

Ashli Babbitt

Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old unarmed Air Force veteran and ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd. While news media has labeled Babbitt as a violent “insurrectionist” who was trying to breach the Speaker’s Lobby, a frame-by-frame analysis of the video from The Epoch Times shows Babbitt tried to stop the violence against the Speaker’s Lobby at least four times before she was fatally shot.

Moments before being shot to death, Ashli Babbitt confronts three police offers for not stopping the vandalism outside the U.S. House.
Moments before being shot to death, Ashli Babbitt confronts three police offers for not stopping the vandalism outside the U.S. House. (Video Still/Tayler Hansen)

Two reports, filed by two officers who were with Byrd at the moment he shot Babbitt, were also obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times.

According to a report by Paul McKenna of the United States Capitol Police (USCP) Uniformed Service Bureau, as protesters “began pounding” on the “East door of the lobby” and breaking the glass, he drew his weapon along with Byrd and Officer Reggie Tyson. He “yelled ‘stay back’ ‘get back’ several times during the incident.”

“A woman climbed through the far left window pane, which had been broken out by the group,” McKenna attested. “Lt. Byrd fired one shot hitting the woman. She fell back out of the window and I continued yelling at the group to get back and away from the doors.”

McKenna claims the incident happened between 1430 and 1500 hours (2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.). The report was signed by McKenna on June 9, 2021. It was signed by his supervisor five months earlier, on Jan. 7, 2021.

Use of Force report regarding the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by Lieutenant Byrd at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, signed7/9/21 by Paul McKenna and 01/09/21 by his supervisor.
Use of Force report regarding the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by Lieutenant Byrd at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, signed7/9/21 by Paul McKenna and 01/09/21 by his supervisor. (United States Capitol Police Use of Force Report/The Epoch Times)

In the second report, filed Jan. 7, 2021, Tyson said he heard “shots fired” over his radio some time after 1440 (2:40 p.m.). In an attempt to protect himself, Tyson said he withdrew his weapon and made his way to the lobby east side of the capitol along with Byrd and McKenna. “A protester tried to climb through the broken window where she was shot one time as she fell back.” Tyson claims the time of the incident was around 1500 hours (3:00 p.m.).

In another report, USCP Officer Tyler Stoyle claims he responded to “a shots fired” call over their his radio at “1400 hours” (2:00 p.m.), 40 minutes earlier than Tyson claimed to have heard the call of “shots fired.”

A separate report filed by USCP Officer Jason McGinnis, said he “responded to the North side of Crypt” at “approximately 1400 hours” and drew his baton to “hold the line of unscreened individuals that were trespassing.”

However, it wasn’t until “after the initial surge had ended” and McGinnis “was moving trespassers out of the South Door” that he claimed “there were reports of shots fired in the Speaker’s Lobby Stairs to the second floor.”

During an interview with NBC, Byrd also claimed to hear “shots fired.”

However, Byrd was the only one to fire a weapon on Jan. 6, 2021. This, and the conflicts in times reported by police regarding when they heard “shots fired,” raises questions.

Use of Force Report filed by Reggie Tyson of the United States Capitol Police regarding the shooting of Ashli Babbitt in the United States Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 by Lieutenant Byrd.
Use of Force Report filed by Reggie Tyson of the United States Capitol Police regarding the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by Lieutenant Byrd in the United States Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021. (United States Capitol Police Use of Force Report)

According to a July 25 report by The Epoch Times, Stan Kephart—a 42-year law enforcement veteran and former director of security for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics who has testified in court more than 350 times as an expert witness on policing issues—said Babbitt was “murdered … under the color of authority.”

However, a review of the reports filed by Tyson and McKenna, the Bureau Commander found “the circumstances support the Use of Force” and did not recommend any further investigation.

Ashli Babbitt (upper right) begins to fall back after being shot by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd on January 6, 2021.
Ashli Babbitt (upper right) begins to fall back after being shot by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd on Jan. 6, 2021. (Sam Montoya/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Byrd also told NBC he yelled verbal warnings so hard that his throat hurt for days after. Neither of the reports filed by Tyson or McKenna corroborate his claim. Byrd cannot be heard shouting anything on the video either.

Byrd insisted he opened fire on an unarmed Babbitt only as a “last resort.”

“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Byrd said.

In August 2021, the U.S. Capitol Police investigation cleared Byrd of any wrongdoing.

Use of Force Reports

According to a report released March 7 by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), “the January 6th attack on the Capitol raised concerns” about the preparedness of USCP “to respond to violent demonstrations.”

Key findings from the report:

  • Eighty officers “identified concerns related to use of force, including that they felt discouraged or hesitant to use force because of a fear of disciplinary actions.”
  • Approximately 150 Capitol Police officers reported 293 use of force incidents on Jan. 6. All were deemed justified by the department.
  • These incidents involved pushing (91), batons (83), withdrawing a firearm from its holster (37), chemical spray (34), other physical tactics (22), pointing a firearm at a person (17), less-lethal munitions (7), a diversionary device (1) and firing a firearm (1).

Of the 293 Use of Force (UOF) reports filed, The Epoch Times has obtained 161 of them, including the ones filed by Tyson and McKenna regarding the shooting of Babbitt by Byrd.

‘Less Than Lethal Munitions’ UOF Reports

According to one UOF report, dated 1/7/21, Officer Adam Descamp said he was ordered by Deputy Chief Eric Waldow “to deploy less than lethal munitions on an overwhelming number of rioters at the U.S. Capitol.

“I deployed multiple FN303 projectiles from the FN303 launcher, administered strikes with the PR-24 baton and utilized the Sabre red pepper spray to gain compliance from the rioters that were aggressively attacking officers on the police line and throughout the Capitol complex,” Descamp wrote of his actions at “approximately 1215 hours” (12:15 p.m.).

Waldow was incident commander of the Civil Disturbance Unit on Jan. 6, which was reported to be highly disorganized and woefully unprepared.

At “approximately 1215 hours,” Officer Melissa Lee also reported on 1/7/21 that she “was ordered to the scene by Deputy Chief Waldow to deploy less than lethal munitions on an overwhelming number of rioters at the U.S. Capitol Building,” using nearly the same, identical verbiage as Descamp.

“I deployed multiple FN303 projectiles from the FN303 launcher to gain compliance from the rioters that were aggressively attacking officers on the police line and throughout the Capitol complex,” she wrote.

A report filed by Officer Matthew Flood, also “at approximately 1215 hours,” also states he was ordered by Deputy Chief Waldow “to deploy less than lethal munitions on an overwhelming number of rioters at the U.S. Capitol.”

“I deployed multiple projectiles from the FN303 launcher, and chemical agent spray,” he wrote, using language remarkably similar to that of Descamp and Lee, “to gain compliance from the rioters that were aggressively attacking officers on the police line and throughout the Capitol complex,” he wrote on his report, also date 1/7/21.

“At approximately 1215 hours,” Officer Tina Cobert also reported on 1/7/21 that she “was ordered to deploy less than lethal munitions on an overwhelming number of rioters at the U.S. Capitol by Deputy Chief Waldow.

“I deployed multiple projectiles from the FN 303 Launcher to gain compliance from the rioters that were aggressively attacking officers on the police line and throughout the Capitol complex,” she also wrote.

Also “at approximately 1215 hours,” Officer Christopher Sprifke reported he “was ordered to deploy less than lethal munitions on an overwhelming number of rioters at the U.S. Capitol by Deputy Chief Waldow.

“I deployed multiple PepperBall projectiles to gain compliance from the rioters that were aggressively attacking officers on the police line and throughout the Capitol building,” he wrote in his 1/7/21 report.

“At approximately 1215 hours,” Officer Shauni Kerkhoff said she was also “ordered by Deputy Chief Waldow, Eric to deploy less than lethal munitions on an overwhelming number of rioters at the U.S. Capitol.

“I deployed multiple projectiles from the PepperBall launcher to gain compliance from the rioters that were aggressively attacking officers on the police line and throughout the Capitol complex,” she wrote in his report, also dated 1/7/21.

In February 2021, the U.S. Capitol police union issued an overwhelming no-confidence vote for a half-dozen of the force’s top leaders, including Waldow.

Instead of leading his team of officers, Waldow chose to physically engage rioters, a move many of his fellow officers saw as wrong. In October 2021, Waldow submitted paperwork for his resignation.

At “approximately 1400hrs,” Officer Patrick Kahl reported that he “discharged multiple 40mm baton rounds after individuals began and continued fighting with USP Officers while trying to gain unlawful access to the United States Capitol Building through the Rotunda Door.”

At 1500 hours, Officer Justin Green reported launching a flash bang “to disperse the crowd” in an effort to “rescue” one of the department’s sergeants who was “pinned in the center of the crowd.” He fired a second flash bang as demonstrators were “breaching the Rotunda door.”

Conflicting Reports

These UOF reports contradict the report issued by then-Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton, who said the CDU was ordered by supervisors not to use less than lethal munitions and that “heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including flash bangs, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership.”

In addition, every report filed by police regarding the deployment of munitions claims there were no injuries. However, a witness said 55-year-old Kevin Greeson, an unarmed pro-Trump protester who died of a heart attack on Jan. 6, was struck by a projectile fired by Capitol Hill police just prior to his death.

Despite claims that munitions were launched to “gain compliance from rioters that were aggressively attacking officers,” numerous videos show tear gas and flash bangs were launched into a peaceful crowd, even into an area where women, children, and elderly people were standing behind police barriers. Several reports, including one by The Epoch Times, suggested the use of munitions was an intentional effort to incite violence, not to “gain compliance.”

Video footage, analyzed by Ray Dietrich of Red Voice Media, shows the violence began on Jan. 6, 2021 “the moment either stun grenades or tear gas canisters were deployed into the crowd of protestors.”

“The question I have, after a 20-year career in law enforcement, is why were these munitions deployed?” Dietrich asked rhetorically, saying he had “picked this video apart” and “cannot see why the USCP used this force against the crowd.”

“There is no fighting and no violence, so why did they target these people with less-lethal weapons?” He asked, noting that “what happened next” was “chaos” and “violence” as “the crowd fought back” and “the Capitol was breached.”

EpochTV’s documentary “The Real Story of Jan. 6” contains a number of new videos showing that munitions were used on a primarily peaceful crowd, injuring many people.

Contradictions between videos and police UOF reports regarding munitions also raise questions.

None of the officers involved in these UOF attacks, some of which resulted in hospital transport or death, faced any charges.

Considering the evidence, The Epoch Times reached out to the GAO, asking how the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) could determine that every use of force was justified.

Gretta Goodwin, a director in GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice team, told The Epoch Times they “reviewed Capitol Police use of force and crowd control policies, procedures, and training materials,” and “analyzed officer use of force reports for January 6, 2021, which describe the types of force used, as well as supervisors’ determinations on whether the force was justified.”

“As you noted, and as we reported, Capitol Police determined that each the 293 use of force incidents reported from January 6, 2021 were justified,” Goodwin explained. “According to Capitol Police policy, officers are required to complete a use of force report for any incident that meets one or more of three criteria: (1) unintentional firearm discharge; (2) the withdrawal of a weapon from its holster or pointing a weapon, including a firearm, at an individual or animal; or (3) any use of force greater than, and including, empty hand control techniques. Further, its policy requires officers to complete the use of force report, if possible, prior to the end of the officer’s tour of duty (i.e., the day of the incident).”

None of the reports were completed and submitted on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Capitol Police policy calls for use of force reports to be reviewed by the reporting officer’s supervisor for accuracy and completeness,” Goodwin stated further. “The supervisor is required to indicate whether the use of force was supported by the circumstances, or whether more investigation is needed. For either designation, the supervisor is to forward the report to the Office of Professional Responsibility for final investigative review. According to the Capitol Police, Office of Professional Responsibility investigations that identify wrongdoing can result in disciplinary actions and criminal investigations. Of the 293 use of force incidents reported, one incident required more investigation by the supervisor. This incident was the sole use of force incident involving the firing of a firearm, which the Capitol Police determined to be justified after additional investigation.”

This was the shooting of an unarmed Babbitt by Byrd. No explanation was provided for why the actions of Officer Morris and “Officer Whiteshirt” were deemed justified.

“We made five recommendations in our report,” Goodwin said, “some of which focus on ensuring that the Capitol Police take actions to better understand officers’ comprehension of the department’s expectations and policies related to the use of force, and as appropriate, make changes to policy, guidance, and training. Capitol Police agreed with all five of our recommendations, and when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to our recommendations, we will provide updated information on our website.”

The Epoch Times also reached out to the USCP’s OPR but received no response.

Joe Hanneman contributed to this report.

Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: patricia.tolson@epochtimes.us