Monday, July 26, 2021

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    Body Camera Footage Shows Capitol Rioters Trampling Over Woman

    Video obtained by The Times provides a police officer’s view of the deadly battle to defend a key entryway from the surging mob.

    As 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland lay dying on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6 after being crushed by a mob, fellow rioters were charging over her to attack police officers with crutches, a hockey stick and pepper spray, new police body camera footage shows.

    Video obtained by The Times provides a previously unpublished view of the brutal fight between rioters and officers at a central entryway on the west side of the Capitol — the same one that President Biden used to descend to his inauguration ceremony two weeks later.

    The footage shows how rioters, in their effort to attack the police, trampled on Ms. Boyland even as her friend, Justin Winchell, shouted that she was dying and needed help.

    Federal prosecutors in Detroit played the video at a Jan. 25 court hearing in the case of Michael Joseph Foy, a Michigan man accused of attacking the officers with a hockey stick. The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit provided the one minute and 20 second clip to The Times.

    The footage appears to come from the body camera worn by one of four Metropolitan Police officers dragged out of the doorway and beaten by rioters during the hourslong battle. It begins at 4:26 p.m., just as officers have managed to push the mob out of the doorway. Inside, rioters had packed together in a dangerous crush in their attempt to force their way through the police and into the Capitol.

    Seconds into the video, as rioters tumble over one another, a voice can be heard shouting, “Save her!”

    The New York Times/U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan

    As rioters fall out of the doorway, Ms. Boyland is briefly visible in the video, and Mr. Winchell begins to scream, “She’s gonna die! She’s dead!”

    “I need somebody!” Mr. Winchell shouts, turning to the crowd. Instead, a rioter behind him sprays a chemical irritant over his head toward the police.

    A bearded rioter wearing a hat, brown jacket and University of Michigan sweatshirt then begins to move up the stairs toward the police.

    “Knock their masks off!” another rioter in a cowboy hat tells him.

    Video player loading
    The New York Times/U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan

    The bearded rioter charges over Ms. Boyland and begins to grapple with the officer, grabbing his baton. At the same time, another rioter jabs the officer with a crutch. The officer is driven to the ground as the crowd cheers the attack.

    A man in a hooded winter jacket, whom prosecutors say is Mr. Foy, is seen on the body camera footage advancing with his hockey stick and repeatedly swinging it down at the officers. Prosecutors allege in court documents that Mr. Foy, a former Marine, struck officers at least 10 times in 16 seconds.

    “No! No!” Mr. Winchell screams, as the rioters swing at the police over Boyland’s body.

    “I’ll kill you,” a rioter says to an officer, using an expletive, before grabbing the officer by his helmet and dragging him out of the doorway.

    Mr. Winchell can again be heard screaming “Rosanne! Rosanne!”

    Video player loading
    The New York Times/U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan

    After the first officer is dragged away, another rioter can be seen grabbing onto the leg of the fallen officer wearing the body camera. Then the footage ends. Other videos reviewed by The Times showed that rioters dragged the officer down the steps seconds later.

    At around the same time, rioters dragged Ms. Boyland from the door and attempted but failed to resuscitate her. They then carried her back to the police battling rioters at the doorway, who moved her into the Capitol Rotunda, where paramedics eventually reached her. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 6:09 p.m., around an hour and a half later.

    Mr. Foy faces multiple federal charges, including assaulting a police officer, and has been transferred from Detroit to Washington to face prosecution.

    The official cause and manner of Ms. Boyland’s death are still pending, according to Washington’s chief medical examiner.

    Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting.

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