(CNN)The Justice Department released new police body camera footage Friday showing one of the most disturbing assaults during the Capitol insurrection — where three officers waded into the crowd to save a pro-Trump rioter who was trampled, only to be stripped of their protective gear, dragged down a set of stairs and attacked with crutches, flagpoles, batons and bare hands.
The DOJ released the videos after CNN and other outlets sued for access. All of the officers involved in this incident worked for Washington, DC’s police force. They were identified by initials in court filings.
Officer A.W. stepped out of a tunnel where police were congregated and into the crowd to help Rosanne Boyland, 34, a rioter and QAnon supporter who was trampled by the mob. She died of an accidental drug overdose, according to Washington, DC’s chief medical examiner. Boyland’s body is seen in some of the new videos, which also show her friend screaming for assistance.
Prosecutors say A.W.’s body-worn camera video shows defendant Jack Whitton leaping over a barricade, knocking A.W. onto his back and attempting to wrestle away his baton. Over A.W.’s head, other rioters hit the police line with flagpoles and metal poles. The crowd drags A.W. into the crowd while he pleads for help. Members of the crowd ignore the plea, one rioter leans down and shouts, “traitor.” Much of the clip is from A.W.’s perspective on the ground looking up.
This bottom-up angle shows a man wearing a “sheriff” vest pulling A.W. down the stairs. He’s also wearing a patch with the logo of the Three Percenters, a right-wing extremist group. Despite the “sheriff” label, there’s no indication this man was part of the police defending the Capitol. In fact, he was included on a wanted poster from DC’s police department and named as “person of interest” in the assault on A.W..
The attack landed A.W. in the hospital, where he got staples in his head to stop the bleeding. Whitton was charged with several felonies, including assault. He hasn’t yet entered a plea.
Another officer, C.M., tried to help his colleagues. C.M.’s bodycam footage shows another officer dragged into the crowd. It also shows Boyland lying on the ground. This is the first footage the US government has released showing Boyland’s death. She was one of a few Trump supporters who died in the attack.
Prosecutors say the footage then shows defendant Michael Lopatic rushing toward C.M., attacking the officer and grabbing him by the head and punching him. C.M.’s bodycam is dislodged and falls to the ground, briefly revealing a splatter of blood.
C.M. got a concussion that day, though it may have been caused when he was assaulted a second time later in the day in a different incident, according to court filings. Lopatic was charged with several felonies, including assault, and hasn’t entered a plea yet.
The Justice Department released two bodycam clips from another officer. One clip shows the tug-of-war between the rioters and the officers who were trying to pull their colleague to safety. The officers are repeatedly pummeled with poles and what appear to be stolen police batons.
Another bodycam clip, recorded about 20 minutes later, shows police in a second tunnel, holding the line with riot shields. Rioters throw objects, hitting the shields. According to prosecutors, Whitton is the man who is heard in the clip, shouting at the police, “you’re gonna die tonight” (He later boasted to friends, saying that “I fed him to the people,” referring to the officer, according to court filings).