One might be inclined to apply Hanlon’s razor—never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity—to the actions of law enforcement on January 6, 2021. One might even be inclined to replace “stupidity” with “incompetence” to explain why police behaved the way they did that afternoon.
But a growing body of evidence suggests neither stupidity nor incompetence can justify what now appears to be the worst incident of police brutality against political protesters since the civil rights era. After two years of watching cherry-picked video clips produced by the Department of Justice and the news media to depict Trump supporters as the violent aggressors on January 6, the public now has an opportunity to see what really happened thanks to police body camera footage released at trial.
It’s ugly—and clearly malicious.
As American Greatness has reported for nearly two years, members of the Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department were involved in egregious acts of excessive force during the Capitol protest. Some use of force, obviously, was necessary. But police officers initiated most of the confrontations with otherwise peaceful protesters lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights in the nation’s capital.
Protesters by and large were not attempting to commit any crime and did not know the entire lawn surrounding the Capitol building had been declared off-limits. After all, police officials have since admitted that by the time people who attended Donald Trump’s speech arrived at the Capitol, signage and fencing indicating the campus was closed had been torn down.
The conclusion of Trump’s speech at around 1:10 p.m. coincided nearly to the minute with law enforcement’s first use of munitions on protesters assembled on the west side of the Capitol. Roughly 20 minutes earlier, a police barricade of metal racks on the far exterior of the grounds had been breached. But footage captured by the body camera of a D.C. Metro police officer showed that law enforcement had successfully pushed a growing crowd away from the building by 1:15 p.m.
Officer Daniel Thau, however, was on a mission. Sounding alternatively like a mad man or a bully, Thau desperately pleaded with other officers to give him munitions to use against the crowd despite a relatively controlled atmosphere outside.
“Over the more than 75 minutes that Thau was behind the police lines at ground level, he was like a one-man strike force,” Epoch Times reporter Joe Hanneman observed in a detailed analysis of Thau’s footage. “He felled at least four protesters with a Taser, tossed countless explosives into the crowd, and fired a munition launcher with a 40-millimeter shell at point-blank range over the barricade.”
By 2:15 p.m., Thau recognized it was a pointless exercise. “It’s useless. We’re just fucking shooting zombies, man. We’re shooting zombies. That’s it.”
Further, Thau admitted, the unwarranted attacks were backfiring. “We’re taking out one and 10 are getting more angrier [sic]. We’re multiplying them by hitting them.” Even worse, police misused chemical gas munitions, resulting in injuries to fellow officers who then retreated from the reinforced line.
People inside the building didn’t fare much better. Whether they climbed in through broken windows or walked through open doors, protesters eventually filled various areas of the Capitol including the Rotunda—and were met by police officers in full riot gear including helmets, ballistic vests, eye shades, gas masks, and metal batons.
And again, despite no attempts to commit violence or vandalism there, protesters were subjected to harsh punishment by the police. Cops shoved and punched people who were seemingly trapped inside the Rotunda, unsure how to exit. “Do you feel big and strong now?” one woman is heard saying on body camera footage from D.C. Metro Police Officer Terrence Craig. “Does that get you off pushing around a bunch of women? A bunch of fucking unarmed women?”
Men witnessed an officer shove another woman without provocation. “Sergeant, take care of that officer right now!” one protester yelled at police. “She’s gonna cause real problems.” People can be heard screaming in pain; one unidentified officer is seen repeatedly punching someone on the floor.
It’s important to note that lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence had been evacuated by that point. Police could have easily escorted people outside, locked the doors, and instructed those remaining outside it was time to leave.
Instead, protesters were used as human punching bags and target practice.
Four Trump supporters lost their lives. Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd shot and killed Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed female veteran, at 2:44 p.m.
Prior to her execution, two men on the west side of the Capitol grounds—the location where Officer Thau and his colleagues had launched an assault on protesters—suffered fatal heart attacks at the same time. Independent journalist Tayler Hansen documented he circumstances of the deaths of Benjamin Phillips and Kevin Greeson around 2:00 p.m. on January 6. “The first grenade was thrown deep into the peaceful protesters,” Hansen wrote in an analysis. “Following the initial crowd munition exploding, four of the first grenades can be seen and heard on video in under 30 seconds.”
“Both Greeson and Phillips died in the initial grenade barrage,” Hansen concluded.
His account appears to be supported by first responders called to the scene. “We started hearing explosions that later turned out to be flashbangs or smoke grenades,” one D.C. firefighter explained in a video produced by the city’s Emergency Medical Services in 2021.
“The tension in the crowd was getting higher and higher as the flashbang grenades were going off around us,” Gary Dziekan, a D.C. emergency medical technician, said in the video. Police continued throwing grenades as paramedics attempted to reach the two stricken men.
“It was just an unexplained—why was he in cardiac arrest?” paramedic Glenn Hanna said. “Nobody knew so they were thinking maybe he got injured, maybe it was a stun grenade, maybe he tased himself.”
Other calls flooded in to report injuries. While conveniently leaving out the identity of the responsible party, one dispatcher told first responders someone “shot a grenade at the patient’s face, his teeth are out, mouth bleeding.” Some protesters were set on fire from the impact of the flashbangs.
But perhaps no one suffered a more cruel fate than Rosanne Boyland, a Trump supporter from Georgia. Video posted by Gateway Pundit on Thursday shows people attempting to resuscitate Boyland near the lower west terrace tunnel, the scene of the most violent clashes between police and protesters. This is where officers viciously beat another female Trump supporter, as I reported here in 2021.
Boyland likely suffocated after being hit with noxious chemical gas in the enclosed area then trampled as police forcefully pushed people outside the tunnel, even though the building had been empty for nearly two hours.
It’s the first time Boyland’s lifeless body is seen in full view. Desperate protesters then drag her body to a line of officers and plead for help. But the cops kept attacking people and seemed unconcerned with her condition. One officer identified as Lila Morris reportedly beat Boyland’s dead body with a metal baton as she laid face up on the ground.
As Boyland’s body is finally dragged away by police, protesters confront officers. “She’s fucking dead! This is on you, motherfuckers!” (The D.C. coroner claimed Boyland died of a drug overdose.)
The Biden regime and news media continue to describe January 6 as a “deadly insurrection” based on the falsehood that five officers died. Meanwhile, the names of the Americans who did die that day are never mentioned.
Political protests in Washington, D.C., are nothing new. Since 2016, numerous, heavily attended protests—the Women’s March, the March for Science, anti-Brett Kavanaugh events, to name a few—went off without a single flashbang or sting ball filled with rubber bullets or canisters filled with chemical powder.
So what made January 6 different? The answer is obvious. Trump supporters are considered subhuman by the ruling class. They are not entitled to the same protections, either constitutional or personal security, as any other group of Americans. That’s why police unleashed their fury on January 6 with impunity. Not only have they faced no consequences, both departments have received congressional and presidential medals of valor.
Maybe next time they can just shoot all the protestors in the head.