The Justice Department released video evidence Wednesday that was initially shown in court proceedings for two cases of alleged assaults on officers during the January 6 Capitol riot. The footage provides a new, up-close look at what officers experienced as they battled with the mob at the Capitol that day.
The videos had been played in court proceedings in cases against two men: Brian Mock, a Minnesota man accused of kicking and shoving officers, and Grady Owens, a Texas native accused of hitting an officer with a skateboard.
The videos, which includes body camera footage from law enforcement officers, was released for public viewing after a coalition of media outlets, including CBS News, filed a motion to access the evidence.
In two videos shown in court during proceedings against Mock, prosecutors said he could be seen shoving an officer to the ground, then kicking the officer as he laid on the ground while another rioter held his legs. Minutes later, prosecutors said he shoved a different officer and grabbed police riot shields, passing them back to the crowd behind him.
The videos were introduced as evidence as prosecutors argued Mock should be held in custody as he awaits trial. Prosecutors also cited his criminal history, which they said included a 2010 conviction for an incident where a SWAT team was called to his home after he held a gun to three children’s heads and screamed at them, and pushed a woman who tried to intervene.
Prosecutors argued that his social media posts revealed that he intended to engage in violence at the Capitol on January 6. Prosecutors said his posts made references to “war” and he wrote that he was not sure if he was going to come home.
Mock’s attorneys said in a court filing that while the weight of the evidence against him “is strong,” his actions were not premeditated and caused little to no physical harm to the officers involved.
In video footage presented in the other case, against Owens, prosecutors said he could be seen striking an officer with a skateboard. As officers regrouped after the altercation, prosecutors said, the video shows that Owens did not back away or exhibit remorse, but rather, continued to yell at officers, saying, “How do you live with yourselves?”
Owens’ attorney argued that he did not intentionally target and strike the officer, but used his skateboard to protect himself after the officer surprised Owens from behind. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his attorney has asked that he be released from jail as he awaits trial.
The videos released Thursday help shed light on what officers encountered that day and provide a point-of-view depiction of what Metropolitan Police Department officers experienced as they arrived on the scene to help defend the Capitol from the mob of protesters.
One nearly 52-minute long body camera clip follows a group of officers dressed in tactical gear as they walk through the crowds toward the Capitol. As they approach the mob, some in the crowd can be heard jeering: “Traitors! Traitors!” One yells, “F*** you, f*** you.” Another man yells, “Oath breakers!”
Later, the video shows how over the course of about a minute, rioters rush past police and eventually topple bike rack barriers and breach a police line that had been holding the crowds back from the Capitol. As the crowd swarms the grounds near the Capitol building, a group approaches the officer whose body-worn camera films the interaction.
“We’re just here to send a message, not hurt anybody,” one man says.
Another man approaches and tells the officer, “This is the United States. You’re an American. Our people died for this.”
The officer says to the man, “Please back up.”
He responds, “I can’t, buddy. You’ll have to kill me.”
Within minutes, the crowd swells, surrounding the police while chanting “U.S.A.,” throwing projectiles and appearing to spray chemical substances at officers.
CBS News has learned that more than 150 officers were injured in the attack, according to sources on Capitol Hill and the Capitol Police union and testimony from Metropolitan Police Chief Chief Robert Contee.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that the federal law enforcement agency has “hundreds more investigations still ongoing” with regard to January 6, including more serious charges still in store.
“This is far from over,” he said.