Horrifying new bodycam footage had revealed how the officers on the front line were attacked as they tired to defend the Capitol during the January 6 riots.
In the video, the U.S. Justice Department identified one of the men who features prominently in the video as Thomas Webster.
The 54-year-old is a Marine Veteran and retired NYPD officer is seen seen screaming profanities at police officers guarding the Capitol, hitting at least one with a flagpole before then tackling him to the ground in the 56-second clip.
Webster is facing seven federal charges for his involvement in the deadly insurrection, including assaulting a police officer, unlawfully entering Capitol grounds with a dangerous weapon and engaging in physical violence.
A complaint filed against Webster includes grabs from the footage – showing him wearing a red coat – recorded by the camera of the officer tackled to the ground.
In the video, the U.S. Justice Department identified one of the men who features prominently in the video as Thomas Webster, wearing a red biker jacket (pictured)
It also includes an interview conducted by the FBI with the attacked D.C. officer – named in the complaint only as as MPD Officer N.R. – who said Webster had pinned him to the ground and straddled him while trying to take off his helmet and gas mask while choking him with the chin strap.
‘N.R. had been dispatched to that location in order to assist U.S. Capitol Police officers with protecting the Capitol grounds and building,’ the complaint says.
‘[Webster] attempts to attack N.R. by lunging toward him with the metal flagpole. Webster strikes at N.R. with the flagpole numerous times,’ it alleges.
The alleged assault was also captured in photographs during the riots, showing the same man from the videos pinning a D.C. officer wearing a high-visibility jacket to the ground amid a crowd of people.
When contacted by the Washington Post after the video’s release, James Monroe, an attorney representing Webster , decline to comment.
The previously unpublished video was released by the US Attorney’s Office on Thursday as a result of a recent ruling in a court case, after more than a dozen news outlets sued for access to evidence gathered by the Justice Department.
Until now, it was only available to judges, but not to the public, according to CNN.
The 54-year-old is a Marine Veteran and retired NYPD officer is seen seen screaming profanities at police officers guarding the Capitol, hitting at least one with a flagpole before then tackling him to the ground in the 56-second clip (pictured)
Webster is facing seven federal charges for his involvement in the deadly insurrection, including assaulting a police officer, unlawfully entering Capitol grounds with a dangerous weapon and engaging in physical violence
At the start of the video, Webster is seen emerging from the crowd of MAGA supporters holding a Marine flag and calling D.C. officers communists.
When one of the officers is seen pushing Webster back, he retaliates by lunging forward and shoving a metal barrier into the police officers.
‘We see what I would describe as a look of pure rage,’ U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said during a heading in February.
‘His teeth are gritted. This is a man about to unleash some kind of violence.’
But during Webster’s first court appearance in February, Munroe argued that his client was only reacting to being punched by a police officer.
‘He’s never been in a shooting incident in his career,’ Monroe said. ‘This was the one and only protest he’s ever been a part of.’
Prosecutors argued back that 10 minutes of video leading up to the violent encounter shown in the newly released clip showed no such provocation.
A complaint filed against Webster includes grabs from the footage – showing him wearing a red coat – recorded by the camera of the officer tackled to the ground (pictured)
MPD Officer N.R. said Webster had pinned him to the ground and straddled him while trying to take off his helmet and gas mask while choking him with the chin strap
According to The Post, Webster was identified in part after a school administrator at his child’s high school recognized him from dropping of his child at school.
Webster served as a police officer in New York for two decades, and even served in Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s security detail, court filings show.
At least 19 current or former members of law enforcement have been arrested amid the investigations into the January 6 siege, The Post has reported.
‘We are a part of a coalition of broadcasters working on the release of videos from the January 6th riots in several pending cases,’ Gray Media, who secured the footage, said in a statement on Thursday reported by WNDU.
‘One of the matters had a ruling today requiring release of body camera footage. The video clip was released by the US Attorney’s Office today in response to the court ordering release. There is profanity in the video.
‘Brief case background: U.S. v. Webster, Defendant is Thomas Webster, a United States Marine Corps veteran and retired New York City Police Department Officer, accused of assaulting an MPD officer with a flagpole.
‘The court ruling today only related to release of the video, not merits of the charges.’
Despite widespread pictures and footage showing the attacks on the U.S. Capitol building – including police bodycam footage and surveillance tapes from inside and outside the building – Republicans have worked to play-down the events, and have blocked an effort to form an independent commission to investigate the riots.
The insurrection came after the Trump campaign held a ‘Save America’ rally on the Ellipse outside the White House on January 6, which saw the president speak for over an hour to a large crowd of MAGA supporters.
Trump has since faced accusations that he and other MAGA figures used the ‘Save America’ rally to rile up his supporters ahead of the riot.
MAGA protesters were told by Trump and his allies to head to Capitol Hill where lawmakers were scheduled to confirm Biden’s presidential victory.
Trumps supporters gather outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Lawmakers were forced to go into hiding for several hours as Capitol police grappled to take back control while the mob rioted in the Senate and House, invaded Nancy Pelosi’s office and looted items
Pictured: Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021
‘After this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women,’ the president said during the event.
‘We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.’
In the hours that followed, a violent mob stormed the Capitol, breaking through police barricades and smashing windows to enter the building.
Lawmakers were forced to go into hiding for several hours as Capitol police grappled to take back control while the mob rioted in the Senate and House, invaded Nancy Pelosi’s office and looted items.
The Justice Department has charged at least 400 people in connection with the capitol riots so far, with defendants coming from 43 different states.
New defendants have been added nearly every day since the attack, and federal prosecutors have said in a recent court filing that they expect to charge at least 500 people in total.
Pictured: A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a Confederate battle flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021
Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather on the West side of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 where a noose has been erected
One female Trump supporter, US Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by Capitol Police as she tried to climb through a window.
Three other Trump supporters died after ‘medical emergencies’ related to the breach and Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick died from injuries sustained in the attack after he was allegedly hit over the head.
Hundreds of people have already been charged over their involvement in the riots, with prosecutors across the U.S. working to bring to justice those who stormed the U.S. Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding as they began their work to affirm Joe Biden’s victory.
The group included white nationalists, neo-Nazis and QAnon conspiracy theorists, coming from states as far-flung as Arizona and Oregon, while photographs from the riot have shown people wearing clothes with a range of antisemitic messages.