Last Updated on October 19, 2021
New video footage that was released by the U.S. government shows that police officers calmly stepped aside and allowed a large group of election integrity protesters to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, debunking the “violent insurrection” narratives pushed by corporate media that claimed the protesters broke into the building by force.
The video footage in question was released after legal counsel for defendant Ethan Nordean successfully petitioned the court to force the government to remove the sensitive designation from several videos obtained in discovery.
In their court filings, Nordean’s attorneys noted the following:
This clip is 40 minutes in length, running from 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time on January 6 to 3:00 p.m. The video is from the same camera responsible for the First Upper West Terrace Video. Except, unlike in the shorter First Upper West Terrace Video, at 2:33 p.m., just a few minutes before Nordean enters the building, two police officers open the doors leading from the entry hallway into the Capitol Building. One officer holds the door open as the first protestor enters the building through the Upper West Terrace Door at 2:34 p.m. At 2:35 p.m., two minutes before the clip begins in the First Upper West Terrace Video, a police officer holds a conversation with a line of protestors. Then the officer permits them to enter the building.
The filing also describes the officers’ actions in a second video:
The video is from the same camera that captured the First Upper West Terrace Door Video. Except, unlike in the shorter First Upper West Terrace Door Video, at 2:36:06 p.m., less than a minute before Nordean enters the door, a police officer props the door open and moves a box out of the way of protestors entering the building. At 2:43 p.m., a time also outside the scope of the First Upper West Terrace Door Video, a group of officers large enough to block the narrow door to the Capitol Building confer with one another, as the line of protestors calmly waiting to enter grows outside.
At 2:44:18 p.m., one of the officers appears to hear something in an earpiece. He then places his hand on the shoulder of a second officer who is speaking to the protestors and leans in to say something to him. The group of officers then permit more protestors to enter the building.
Video footage has played a key role in the legal defense for many of the Jan. 6 defendants being held without bail or charged with Capitol-related offenses. The prosecution’s key argument in the cases of several the Proud Boys leaders, for example, is that they had some part in arranging the day’s civil unrest.
One of the Proud Boys leaders, the Philadelphia chapter’s Zach Rehl, has been imprisoned since March and missed the birth of his child despite video showing he did not arrive until long after people began entering the building. His family has created a legal defense fund that hopes to raise more than $50,000, and has already raised over $35,000.