January 11, 2021.
Today the New York Times published a visual investigation titled, ” ‘They Got a Officer!’: How a Mob Dragged and Beat Police at the Capitol.” The article describes how two cops were mobbed by Trump’s insurrectionists, dragged into the crowd, punched and beaten with clubs, hockey sticks, police shields, and flag poles.
This Times article is so important that I’m reprinting it below, in full and with the original photos (though not the video clips).
Everyone should see what Trump instigated against our democracy, and against cops — the very people Trump has so often claimed to support.
Moments before sending his henchmen to attack the Capitol, Trump tweeted, “We are the Party of Law and Order”.
The officers in this NYT article were just two of some 50 cops who were injured in the uprising. Fifteen required hospitalization, mostly from head wounds; and one officer was killed by Trump’s insurgents.
The article is also another example of the world-class journalism for which the New York Times is known. I know that many folks can’t afford a subscription to the NYT — but if you can, please do subscribe. Support the consistently outstanding work of the Times reporters, editors, and their colleagues at the paper.
A warning to the reader: this article is not merely disturbing. It’s grim, horrific and absolutely infuriating.
From the New York Times:
‘They Got a Officer!’: How a Mob Dragged and Beat Police at the Capitol
Videos show pro-Trump rioters pulling three officers down a set of stairs during a violent attempt to breach the building.
By Evan Hill, Arielle Ray and Dahlia Kozlowsky.
Jan. 11, 2021
The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob left a police officer and a rioter dead. More than 50 members of the U.S. Capitol Police were injured, including 15 who required hospitalization, most of them with head wounds, according to Representative Tim Ryan, Democrat of Ohio.
Of all the scenes of violence, one of the most intense occurred during a struggle to breach a west-side door, during which multiple rioters dragged police officers out of a formation and assaulted them while they were trapped in the crowd.
There was widespread speculation on social media that one of the officers was Brian Sicknick — the U.S. Capitol Police officer who died after being hit in the head by a rioter wielding a fire extinguisher. But videos show the officers involved in this incident were members of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Here’s how the assault happened.
Shortly after 2 p.m., the mob on the Capitol’s west side forced its way through the final, thinly-defended police barricades and reached the building’s walls.
Hundreds of rioters swarmed toward a west-side doorway that’s traditionally used when presidents emerge for their inauguration ceremonies.
They surged into the doorway, and an hours-long fight to breach the Capitol began.
Not long after the start of the struggle, rioters were captured on video pulling a Metropolitan Police officer down the stairs. In a video, some rioters can be heard urging others not to hurt him.
News photographers on the scene captured images of the officer caught in the crowd, which began chanting “police stand down!”
The mob pulled the officer away, and rioters continued to try to force their way past the police defending the doorway.
During a brief lull, some rioters appeared to give up and retreat down the stairway.
But a new group lunged toward the police and started a new attack. At the front of the mob, they exchanged blows with the police and struck officers with hockey sticks, crutches and flags. Some rioters shouted “Push! Push!”
One of the attackers, a man wearing a white and blue hat and a green jacket, reached into the doorway, grabbed an officer and dragged him out, aided by a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt.
As they pulled the officer down the stairs, face down, another rioter beat him with an American flag as the mob chanted “USA! USA! USA!”
Seconds later, two other men — one wearing a red hat and tactical vest bearing a “sheriff” patch — began yanking the legs of another officer who had fallen to the ground.
With the aid of a third man in a gray jacket, they pulled the officer down the steps as well. One rioter appeared to punch him while he was on the ground.
One of the two dragged officers can be seen in another video standing up before being mobbed and punched.
Some rioters called on others not to hurt him as the mob led him away.
The Times sent an image to the Metropolitan Police Department of one of the officers whose helmet number is clearly visible on video. Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for the department, said he did not want to try to identify the officer because many may have put on other officers’ helmets.
Sternbeck said he hoped more officers would be able to share their stories with the public soon. “They just feel beaten up,” Sternbeck said.
At least three of the individuals who can be seen dragging the officers in the videos match images included on a Metropolitan Police list of “persons of interest.”
They are suspected of assaulting police officers and could face federal charges.
Christiaan Triebert, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Haley Willis contributed reporting.
Evan Hill is a journalist on the Visual Investigations team, which combines traditional reporting with advanced digital forensics. @evanchill