New January 6 footage shows the crucial moment police lines collapsed on the West Side of the Capitol building after police fired tear gas at what had been, to that point, a peaceful crowd.
Previously released footage reviewed by veteran reporter Julie Kelly shows the massive crowd of Trump supporters peacefully assembled behind police lines. Ray Epps — the infamous mystery man who was caught on several videos between January 5 and 6 telling Trump supporters to enter the Capitol — is highlighted in the frame.
Epps, who was also among the first in the crowd to breach police lines, could be seen moving through the line and talking with Trump supporters as he moved from right to left.
Bodycam footage from a Capitol Police officer shows a large and growing crowd of Trump supporters behind police lines on the building’s West entrance. Dozens of protesters had climbed construction scaffolding located at the edge of police lines, which led to a conversation between officers about what to do next.
Officers then decided to fire tear gas towards the scaffolding, which blew back in their own faces and caused Capitol Police officers to move backwards and abandon their lines. “Put it up in the fu**ing scaffolding,” one officer could be heard yelling.
At one point, a D.C. Metro Police officer can be heard admitting that tear gas was hitting innocent people and negatively impacting law enforcement. “What have we got that we can help and push them, munitions-wise?” a police commander can be heard asking.
“Nothing is gonna help,” one officer replied while another yelled, “the wind is at us!”
“We’ve hit em’ with a-lot of pain compliance, but you’re hitting innocent people,” the officer continued. “And not only that, we’re taking out one and ten of them are getting more angrier,” the other officer chimed in. “We’re multipling them by hitting em’.”
The excessive use of tear gas angered the crowd and created chaos among police lines. Officers could be seen suffering from the effects of the tear gas while several others were forced to retreat.
In another disturbing clip, protesters could be seen on the stairs of the West side entrance when a Capitol Police officer violently shoved an elderly Trump supporter down, causing her to slide down several steps before hitting the ground hard.
This also angered the crowd and raised tensions, as protesters could be seen shouting at officers shortly afterwards.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has pledged to release all 14,000 hours of January 6 footage in the coming weeks and months.