DC Gulag Bodycam Video Confirms J6 Prisoner Was Pepper-Sprayed in the Face Twice, Raising ‘Serious Questions and Concerns’

An employee with the D.C. Central Detention Facility (DOC), better known as the D.C. Gulag, pepper-sprayed a January 6 prisoner in the face twice in less than a few minutes for not wearing a mask, bodycam footage obtained by the House Judiciary Committee confirms.

The altercation occurred at the facility on September 5, 2022, and is one among many allegations of abuse against J6ers at the facility.

Former DOC employee Lieutenant Crystal Lancaster allegedly sprayed Ronald McAbee with the chemical munitions after he removed his face mask and refused to comply with her lockdown order.

Last month, McAbee filed a federal excessive-force lawsuit against Lancaster for the 2022 pepper-spray attack. In his lawsuit, McAbee said he had removed his face mask to take oral medication.

“Defendant Lancaster knowingly, maliciously, and sadistically administered the chemical agent directly to Mr. McAbee’s face from less than four feet away,” the suit says.

After the chemical attack, jail staff “placed him in a shower with only very hot water, which amplified the burning sensation of the chemical spray,” the lawsuit states. “Mr. McAbee was not provided an opportunity to decontaminate thoroughly.”

McAbee was then “placed in solitary confinement for three days, still with no opportunity to decontaminate himself despite multiple requests. During that time, the chemical agent reactivated and caused Mr. McAbee intense burning pain,” the suit continues.

McAbee suffers “continued physical and emotional trauma nearly two years later,” according to the suit.

The government “used Defendant Lancaster’s attack against Mr. McAbee to argue for an increased sentence for Mr. McAbee on the grounds that Mr. McAbee had “an altercation with jail personnel while awaiting trial,” the lawsuit alleges.

The House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation into the alleged assault in May.

McAbee, who was a Deputy at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office on January 6, 2021, was convicted in October of five felonies, including, “assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer; civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon” (reinforced knuckle gloves).

Witnesses say the deputy had tried to assist a Metro Police officer who was being besieged by protesters at the lower West Terrace Tunnel and then attempted to save Rosanne Boyland, one of four J6 protesters who died that day, as police were refusing to provide medical assistance to her.

“The entire thing happened in about a seven minutes time timespan,” McAbee’s wife Sarah explained during an interview in March. “Those are the facts of the case.” One of the officers who thanked McAbee for his actions that day, testified on his behalf during his trial, “but it didn’t matter,” she said.

The former deputy spent almost two years in the DC Gulag awaiting trial. He was sentenced to six years in prison in October and is serving his sentence at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Rochester, Minnesota. The FMC is a federal prison for male inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care.

Since January of 2023, Rep. Troy E. Nehls (R-Texas), a member of the Committee, has repeatedly requested bodycam footage and documents from the DC facility regarding the incident. After more than a year of stonewalling the committee’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the DOC finally allowed Nehls, members of his staff, and Committee staff the opportunity to view the footage at a DOC facility.

Although the committee had requested a copy of the footage, Republican members waived their right to possession of the material and viewed the footage on June 12, 2024.

According to a Judiciary Committee letter to DOC Director Thomas Faust, exclusively obtained by American Greatness, the footage confirms that Lancaster singled out McAbee to spray him in the face twice with chemical munitions within a short period of time.

“The video shows several inmates, including McAbee, not complying with the facility’s mask mandates or the lockdown order that Lancaster had issued,” the letter, signed by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Nehls, states. “For reasons unclear from the video footage, however, Lancaster appears to single out McAbee for not wearing his mask or immediately returning to his cell.”

The footage appears to suggest that Lancaster sprayed McAbee in retaliation to something he said to her.

“Lancaster and McAbee appeared to exchange additional words before Lancaster sprayed McAbee with chemicals in his face,” the letter says.

A committee spokesman told American Greatness that the footage indicated that McAbee had taken his mask off to take his medication.

During the viewing, according to the letter, a DOC representative informed Nehls, his staff, and Committee staff that DOC’s policy requires inmates to receive fresh clothes after being sprayed with chemical munitions.

“However, McAbee has informed Representative Nehls that he was not given fresh clothes after the altercation; rather he was given the same clothes he was wearing at the time of altercation,” the Congressmen wrote. “This is a serious allegation, as Oleoresin capsicum (OC) sprays continue to stick to clothing and skin after use.”

Rep. Nehls told American Greatness he still has “serious questions and concerns” after viewing the bodycam footage.

“I am proud to join Chairman Jordan in demanding all the footage of the CB2 pod in the D.C. DOC, including all body camera footage from each officer present during the incident between Mr. McAbee and Lieutenant Lancaster, as well as all non-body worn cameras in the pod,” he said. “Furthermore, to ensure that the DOC followed its own policy of issuing an inmate fresh clothes after the deployment of Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, we are requesting all medical records related to Mr. McAbee’s medical treatment following the incident. My mission remains to get to the bottom of what truly happened between Mr. McAbee and Lieutenant Lancaster.”

Jordan, Ogles and Nehls said the footage they were allowed to see “did not provide relevant information regarding the circumstances surrounding the altercation, such as whether Lancaster properly assessed the situation or whether she issued inappropriate use of force against McAbee.”

The mistreatment of a prisoner is a serious allegation, especially after a use of force tactic has been deployed. While DOC claims to provide for an “orderly, safe, secure and humane environment,” the video footage depicting the incident that occurred with McAbee on September 5, 2022, suggests that DOC did not meet that standard in this case.

The congressmen reiterated their previous requests that the DOC provide “all footage from the C2B pod from the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on that day, “including body camera footage from all officers present during the incident as well as non-body worn cameras in the pod.”

Additionally, they requested all medical records pertaining to McAbee’s medical treatment following the incident, including ant documentation that McAbee received a fresh change of clothes after being sprayed.

The Committee requested that the information be provided “as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 15, 2024” and advised the DOC that they “may be forced to resort to compulsory process if these requests remain outstanding.”

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC- JAN 05: A view of the DC Central Detention Facility (aka the DC Jail) in Washington, D.C. on January 05, 2023. The night before the second anniversary of the 1/6 insurrection, supporters of jailed Capitol rioters rallied at the jail. Protestors refer to the jail as a Gulag and label those they support as political prisoners. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. Great reporting. Prayers go out to his family and all J6 political prisoners and their families. I have never been so ashamed of my country as I have been since January 6, 2021, mostly because I realize it is being led by corrupt cowards.

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