Capitol Riot Body Cam Footage Shows What Police Faced - 2021-06-24
WASHINGTON — The video begins with a view from the back of a moving van. It's timestamped in the corner Jan. 6, 2021, 1:53 p.m. There are at least three police officers seated up front; two are wearing helmets. There's no sound. From the vantage point of a camera attached to the uniform of an officer in the back, the viewer can see his hands as he adjusts his gear and straps on gloves.
Two minutes in, after the officers have exited the van at a trot and clustered with other police on the street with the Capitol in the background, the sound suddenly turns on. Another officer is yelling at the group to make sure their cameras are working. The camera picks up the sound of sirens and the low roar of a crowd in the distance.
The 52-minute video is one of a series of clips of police body camera footage that depict the frontline experience of officers who responded to the riots on Jan. 6 and were released over the past week. These videos had been referenced in court filings and played in court in some of the cases brought in connection with the assault on the Capitol, but they hadn't been available to the public. They were finally released after a coalition of media organizations, including BuzzFeed News, petitioned judges. The latest cache offers new, up-close perspectives of the situation outside the Capitol as an angry mob surged forward to try to break through police lines, hurling flag poles and other projectiles; deploying pepper spray; and lobbing insults, obscenities, and threats at the officers. The clips were cited by prosecutors and defense lawyers in different cases, but they all fell within the same one-hour window, starting just before 2 p.m. — minutes before the first rioters broke into the Capitol.