The decision by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to hand 41,000 hours of Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach video exclusively to Fox News might satisfy demands for transparency in some quarters, but one experienced video investigator decried the arrangement.
“All of the American people need to be able to access the complete footage from January 6,” William Pope of Topeka, Kansas, a Jan. 6 defendant who spent countless hours examining video evidence, told The Epoch Times.
“For two years, the Department of Justice has selectively leaked footage to shape their preferred narratives. And for two years, Democrats in Congress worked to ‘establish’ their own narrative. Now, it is being reported that Republicans may only give access to select members of the media to control their own narrative.
“While Tucker Carlson does a great job of amplifying information and has been one of the few in media to support Jan. 6 defendants, he shouldn’t be the lone gatekeeper of Jan. 6 video.
“Tucker also doesn’t have researchers on staff who have spent thousands of hours analyzing how the events of Jan. 6 unfolded. He could get much better content if the video were available to everyone and review was crowdsourced to the internet.”
Defense attorney Brad Geyer said the crowd-sourcing function has been stifled under court-imposed protective orders that kept the video hidden.
“Blanket court-imposed protective orders prevented upwards of 40,000 hours of CCTV footage and MPD [Metropolitan Police Department] body cam from being seen or reviewed by members of the public. The crowd-sourcing function that the public would ordinarily provide the system was short-circuited,” Geyer told The Epoch Times.
“Each J6 defense was responsible for its own video review, requiring each to reinvent the wheel each time. As a result, inflammatory clips played on an endless loop in the evening on Jan. 6 were burned into the national psyche, convincing everyone that these unrepresentative samples explained everything when they explained nothing.”
Video footage released by Pope in a recent court motion and several videos entered in evidence in the defense case of Richard “Bigo” Barnett have brought additional focus to the Jan. 6, 2021, picture.
Use of Chemicals
Canisters of CS gas, also known as tear gas, and high-velocity spray tanks filled with oleoresin capsicum weren’t only ineffective as crowd-control tools; they caused extensive casualties among police inside and outside the Capitol.
An errant shell fired by MPD Officer Rich Khoury at about 2:25 p.m. landed in a group of police supervisors on the west front of the Capitol. The resulting gas cloud caused police to scatter and allowed the densely packed crowd to advance toward the stairs that lead to the Lower West Terrace.
Officer Anthony Alioto’s bodycam showed him tossing a CS gas canister from the lower terrace into the crowd below. After the initial explosion, the smoking canister was thrown back at police, spreading gas across the terrace and driving officers inside the building.
“You got us. You don’t understand how bad you got me and Tara,” Sgt. Frank Edwards told Alioto, referring to himself and Officer Tara Tindall. “When that came downwind, you got the front of it. We got the whole plume.”
Tindall said, “You chased us upstairs.”
Edwards said, “I couldn’t breathe.”
Another instance caught on bodycam shows Officer Daniel Thau rushing the police line on the west front and firing a stream of high-velocity pepper spray between two officers. The wind caught the stream and blew it back into their faces. After one officer muttered an expletive, Alioto shouted, “Hey Danny, watch the wind direction!”
Pepper spray was a danger inside the building as well. Alioto’s bodycam showed him getting hit in the face with pepper spray while police were trying to clear the Great Rotunda of protesters. Just as he drew his own can of pepper spray, Alioto said, “Oh, they got me. They got me.” As he walked into a side hallway, Alioto cried out in pain.
As a fellow officer poured water over Alioto’s face, the police radio crackled, “Everybody needs to mask up. We’re overwhelmed with pepper spray in the building.”
Capitol Police Staffing
As officers from MPD, the FBI, Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives streamed into the Capitol in the mid-afternoon, confusion among Capitol Police was evident.
Officer Luke Foskett from MPD approached U.S. Capitol Police officer Patrick Collier in the Capitol at about 2:50 p.m. and asked, “Where can we start?”
“I don’t [expletive] know,” Collier replied. “You want to talk about getting caught with your pants down.
“We have no direction. Nobody can get on the [expletive] radio. I called the Command Center and let them know that you guys are here with us. At least you’re accounted for …”
About 20 minutes earlier, Lt. Tarik Johnson was preparing to evacuate the Senate Chamber and radioed for command permission to begin the operation. Despite repeated requests, he never got a reply.
Eventually, Johnson started the evacuation anyway, saying the risk of harm to senators and staff outweighed any discipline he might face.
After hearing about the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt in the hallway outside the Speaker’s Lobby at approximately 2:45 p.m., MPD Emergency Response Team (ERT) officer Thomas Miller said, “We should have had people up here. I’m kind of pissed at that. I’m very pissed at that. Very pissed.”
Standing with other MPD ERT officers outside the Capitol at 3:40 p.m., Miller said he was told, “We’ve got other responsibilities. We can’t send our guys in there. There’s people all over this city with guns.”