Rioters clash with police as they put up barricades to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Roberto Schmidt / AFP via Getty Images hide the caption
Roberto Schmidt / AFP via Getty Images
Roberto Schmidt / AFP via Getty Images
The Justice Department has released a series of videos, including police body-worn camera footage, allegedly showing attacks on police officers defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The videos, made available after the NPR and other media organizations filed a legal motion for their release, are further evidence of the violent nature of the Capitol riots and are cited as evidence in the assault proceedings against Thomas Webster and Scott Fairlamb.
Although the storming of the Capitol was extensively covered in virtually every news media and streamed live by many people there, several Republican lawmakers have attempted downplay the violence That happened in an attack that killed five people.
But despite the GOP rhetoric, the charges against defendants like Webster and Fairlamb are not an anomaly. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violence that was perpetrated that day, particularly against the largely unsuccessful police officers who were there. Of the more than 500 people who are now being charged in connection with the storming of the Capitol, according to a. at least 96 or almost one in five accused of committing acts of violence Database created and maintained by NPR of all the people charged in the riot.
According to court records, Webster is a US Marine Corps veteran and a retired New York City Police Department officer. He faces seven charges for alleged involvement in the Capitol riot and did not plead guilty in all respects. He is among at least 71 other rioters or around 14% of all defendants who appear to have a military or police background NPR database.
In a 56-second video cited in Webster’s case, prosecutors say Webster can be seen in a red, white and black jacket approaching a metal barricade. The camera recordings worn on the body by the officer, that too described in court records, shows Webster allegedly bursting through the crowd carrying a large flagpole with a US Marine Corps flag attached. In the video, prosecutors say he can hear screaming, “You fucking piece of shit. You fucking commie motherf ****** … Come on, take off your shit. Take off your shit.”
Later, Webster is reportedly seen pushing the metal gate into the officer and rushing towards him, hitting him several times with the flagpole. Prosecutors say he then broke the barricade and charged the officer with clenched fists and threw him to the ground. In an interview with the FBI listed on court documents, the assaulted officer said he was choked to death by his own chin strap and was unable to breathe while on the ground.
In the case against Fairlamb, the Justice Department published four videos, described in court documents. According to local news reports, Fairlamb owns the Fairlamb Fit gym in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. In May 2020, Fairlamb said his company was struggling to survive during the pandemic and announced plans to reopen his gym despite New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s house rules. “He’s exceeded his limits and it’s time for these gyms … that need to be opened,” said Fairlambb CBS New York of the governor’s actions. NPR has not been able to confirm whether the Fairlamb store is still up and running. Fairlamb faces 12 riot-related charges. In April a judge ruled that Fairlamb should remain imprisoned until his trial.
In a short video, Fairlamb allegedly appears under scaffolding, where he – in selfie mode – screeches into the camera and then screams: “We’re not fucking going away either. We will not go. In another short selfie video posted on Facebook, Fairlamb is reportedly seen walking towards the Capitol with a baton and saying, ‘What? [do] Do patriots? We’ll disarm them and then we’ll storm the bloody Capitol. “
In two other videos, one from the crowd and one from camera footage worn on the body by police, Fairlamb is reportedly seen in a brown camo jacket and approaches a number of officers from the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police department. In the video, the man identified by prosecutors as Fairlamb walks alongside the officers and aggressively approaches their faces to ask if they are American. Fairlamb walks away from the camera for a moment and when he reappears, another officer walks past him. Fairlamb allegedly says “Don’t touch me”, pushes the policeman away and then hits the policeman in the face shield.
Fairlamb and Webster lawyers were unavailable.