I think we already knew some of this, but here’s further video confirmation [emphasis mine]:
…[N]ewly-obtained video shows United States Capitol Police officers speaking with several January 6 protestors—including Jacob Chansley, the so-called “Q shaman”—inside the Capitol that afternoon.
One officer, identified in the video and confirmed by charging documents as Officer Keith Robishaw, appears to tell Chansely’s group they won’t stop them from entering the building. “We’re not against . . . you need to show us . . . no attacking, no assault, remain calm,” Robishaw warns. Chansley and another protestor instruct the crowd to act peacefully. “This has to be peaceful,” Chansley yelled. “We have the right to peacefully assemble.”…
The video directly contradicts what government prosecutors allege in a complaint filed January 8 against Chansley: “Robishaw and other officers calmed the protestors somewhat and directed them to leave the area from the same way they had entered. Chansley approached Officer Robishaw and screamed, among other things, that this was their house, and that they were there to take the Capitol, and to get Congressional leaders.”
Chansley later is seen entering the Senate chambers with a police officer behind him; he led several protesters in prayer and sat in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair…
Chansley is not charged with assaulting an officer; he faces several counts for trespassing and disorderly conduct. He has been incarcerated since January, denied bail awaiting trial. He has no criminal record.
This is why the DOJ absolutely refuses to release thousands of hours of surveillance video — they claim because it’s “too sensitive” and would compromise “national security.”
The actual truth is because the video shows Capitol Police allowing protesters to enter the Capitol, and you can’t make a trespassing charge stick when the agents of the state are giving permission to enter.
Now, that doesn’t excuse the relatively few — like 15-20 people — who were attacking cops. No cop gave permission to be attacked, and anyway, you can’t assent to assault.
But this does mean the 400 people being held without trial, in solitary confinement, for political “crimes,” including mere trespassing, cannot be convicted of that crime and should be released at once.
But they won’t be. The government has been taken over by Marxists at war with America and the American people.
But Chansley has served his purpose. Most people think he was some dangerous person trying to overthrow the government violently, along with many thousands of others that day, and that he stands in for the many millions of Trump supporters. Incarcerating a lot of them would be good for the nation, right? The narrative is set.
Years ago – many years ago – I would have thought that releasing information like this video would make a difference in that narrative. Years ago, that notion might even have been correct. Now I no longer think it will make any difference at all except to further anger those of us on the right who care.
I hope I’m wrong. I really really hope I’m wrong.
Washington Examiner: A top GOP senator is demanding to know why the U.S. Capitol Police claimed Officer Brian Sicknick suffered mortal injuries while on duty and after clashing with protesters during the Capitol riot in light of the District of Columbia’s chief medical examiner’s ruling that Sicknick died of natural causes.
Someone allegedly with the police gave the NY Times the false narrative about his death. When the fire extinguisher story was extinguished someone with the police said he was attacked with “bear spray” That story was not true either. I get the impression that there was political pressure on the police to concoct a story that would play into their narrative about the rioters being violent in attacks on police. Johnson is right to try to discover who was behind these bogus reports.
No, Officer Sicknick didn’t die from a fire extinguisher to the head, thrown by Trump supporters on January 6th. Nor did he die from an allergic reaction to bear spray wielded by those same protestors. Here’s the actual story as announced by the medical examiner – which conforms to what for quite some time has seemed the most likely cause of his death to anyone paying attention to the facts:
Francisco Diaz, the chief medical examiner for Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post that Sicknick died on Jan. 7 after suffering two strokes and that he did not suffer an allergic reaction to any chemical irritants.
The medical examiner’s office told the Washington Examiner that Sicknick’s “cause of death” was “acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis” — a stroke — and the “manner of death” was “natural.” The office said Sicknick was sprayed with a chemical substance around 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 6, collapsed at the Capitol around 10 p.m. that evening, and was transported by emergency services to a local hospital. He died around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, the office added.
But the political damage was done by the Times reporting the lies about Sicknick’s death, and those lies almost immediately getting halfway around the world. I bet a lot of people will never read Officer Sicknick’s actual cause of death, and will instead continue to believe the lies.
And that’s the purpose of the lies in the first place.
The WaPo story from yesterday that announced Diaz’s findings also says this:
The ruling, released Monday, likely will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer’s death.
Yes indeed, it’s often “difficult to pursue homicide charges” when no homicide has occurred. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – as we’ve seen in the Chauvin trial, for example.
[NOTE: Glenn Greenwald, who has written a lot about the Sicknick case, has an excellent article about yesterday’s announcement, in which he states this:
It was crucial for liberal sectors of the media to invent and disseminate a harrowing lie about how Officer Brian Sicknick died. That is because he is the only one they could claim was killed by pro-Trump protesters at the January 6 riot at the Capitol…
…[C]able outlets and other media platforms repeated this lie over and over in the most emotionally manipulative way possible…
As I detailed over and over when examining this story, there were so many reasons to doubt this storyline from the start. Nobody on the record claimed it happened. The autopsy found no blunt trauma to the head. Sicknick’s own family kept urging the press to stop spreading this story because he called them the night of January 6 and told them he was fine — obviously inconsistent with the media’s claim that he died by having his skull bashed in — and his own mother kept saying that she believed he died of a stroke.
But the gruesome story of Sicknick’s “murder” was too valuable to allow any questioning. It was weaponized over and over to depict the pro-Trump mob not as just violent but barbaric and murderous, because if Sicknick weren’t murdered by them, then nobody was.
Much more at the link, including the fact that Greenwald had been derisively labeled by MSM reporters as a “Sicknick truther.” They will not be saying any mea culpas about that, either, nor about the other lies they promulgated. They will just move on to the next one.]
Yesterday, a Columbus police officer shot and killed a teenage girl who was in the process of attacking another girl with a knife. The police department rushed out the bodycam footage and presented it at a press conference.
Typical of the media coverage of the incident was this Washington Post story: Ohio police fatally shoot Black teenage girl just before Chauvin verdict:
Police said at a late news conference on Tuesday that the girl had threatened two others with a knife before the shooting, playing segments of body camera video that showed the victim lunging toward someone in a driveway before an officer fired four shots. A knife is visible in the driveway next to the girl as police perform CPR on her.
You would never know from reading the story that the girl had the knife in her hand and was in the process of attacking the girl in pink when she was shot. But that is clearly what happened if you watch the video.
That story is not an isolated example.
Why would a newspaper not report the clear evidence that the girl was attacking another girl with a knife that was visible in her hand for all the world to see? Why would newspaper headlines make this about race?
Donald Trump poisoned media criticism; even when the media misbehaved, calling it out always fed into a narrative that protected an administration fueled by lies.
But it’s time to call this what it is: media malpractice. This intense hyperfocus on race is spurring a moral panic, causing presumably otherwise rational people to jump to conclusions and trumpet them far and wide.
So far online the reactions I am seeing include:
- The police should never kill anyone under any circumstances.
- Why not shoot her in the leg, ar only shoot once? Or shoot the knife out of her hand?
- Knife fights with girls happen; what’s the big deal?
The widespread insanity inherent in these reactions, to me, is the kind of thing you see in a moral panic. And the media is stoking it by constantly playing up the racial angle, and failing to give statistics that might provide context to what we are seeing (such as noting the disproportionate number of police killed by black shooters, a fact that would contextualize the disproportionate number of blacks killed by police; or noting the currently uncovered examples of police shootings of white people). It’s malpractice and it’s creating a frenzy.
Something has to give.
They never cared in the slightest about Officer Brian Sicknick. They had just spent months glorifying a protest movement whose core view is that police officers are inherently racist and abusive. He had just become their toy, to be played with and exploited in order to depict the January 6 protest as a murderous orgy carried out by savages so primitive and inhuman that they were willing to fatally bash in the skull of a helpless person or spray them with deadly gases until they choked to death on their own lung fluids.
He’s right of course. If you support BLM then you necessarily support the routine verbal abuse of police officers as racists akin to the Klan. So it was very curious that a police officer would suddenly become the hero of this same group of progressives apart from the politics of doing so. In fact, you may recall people were simultaneously claiming Sicknick was a victim of the mob and that the same Capitol Hill police had treated BLM protesters unfairly. He was both a victim (where needed) and a perpetrator.
Off. Brian Sicknick Scroll down, or take this link To Capital Coverup 3: Unlimited Hatred, where you’ll find the DC authorities have finally, at long last, released US Capital Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s cause of death. No, he was not hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, nor did he suffer any injuries at all […]Brian Sicknick: Now We Finally Know — Stately McDaniel Manor
It was a stroke, and not from a fire extinguisher or any other blunt instrument.
It was natural causes.
[The lack of transparency is what makes suppression work.] I’ve been warning for years about how social media suppresses views that aren’t popular in Silicon Valley. Until recently, though, I hadn’t found myself on the receiving end of its power.
Let’s start with the Hunter Biden laptop story.
I know. You’re probably already scoffing. Certainly my mostly liberal (and even some conservative) friends are convinced the whole thing is bogus, of interest only to denizens of the Trump fever swamp. They remember that the laptop was never verified, that it was widely suspected of being a product of Russian hacking and disinformation, and even if true, that it was simply a wallow in Hunter Biden’s many personal failings that told us nothing about his father’s fitness for office.
Most of those widespread views are wrong. They are contradicted by a long and detailed story in the UK’s Daily Mail. The “Russian disinformation” claim never stood up to much scrutiny, consisting as it did mainly of assertions that faking a laptop was the kind of thing the Russians would do. Now, however, the Daily Mail has validated the laptop and its contents, both obtaining a former FBI agent’s forensic judgment and conducting a detailed examination of the laptop’s contents. The sheer volume of material makes it highly unlikely that the laptop itself was a fabrication. There are 103,000 text messages, including many intimate (and heart-breaking) father-son exchanges, 154,000 emails, and over 2,000 photos, including numerous nude or sexual pictures of Biden and others. (That leaves open the possibility that someone, perhaps even Russian intelligence, might have added a few fake documents to the real ones – a possibility that would seem to call for detailed examination of the laptop’s contents, something no mainstream media outlet has deigned to conduct.)
As for its relevance to President Biden’s fitness, earlier reporting disclosed correspondence suggesting that Hunter’s unsavory businesses exploited or even benefited his father. And the Daily Mail claims that Hunter was getting some form of Secret Service protection long after the agency claimed to have ended its work for the Biden family. Maybe these stories will fall apart on examination, but there can be little doubt that they deserve investigation. And little doubt that such an investigation could have influenced the 2020 election campaign, when the laptop first surfaced.
What the laptop story got was the opposite of examination. Relying on the unsupported “Russian hacking” conspiracy theory, Twitter blocked the New York Post article. Indeed it blocked the New York Post’s Twitter account for weeks because the Post refused to retract its original tweet about the story. Facebook also limited distribution of the story. The threat was clear enough. Even an established media outlet could lose reach and ad revenue if it reported on the story. And the threat worked; no mainstream publication followed up on the Post article, except for a New York Times article that put the knife in by reporting on controversy over the story’s publication in the Post newsroom. When the story came up during the Presidential debates, candidate Biden was able to dismiss it unchallenged as “a Russian plan [and] a bunch of garbage.”
To my mind, this treatment of the Biden laptop story tells us a lot about the role that Silicon Valley intends to play in future elections. Companies like Twitter were so fearful of a second Trump victory that they seized on a dubious hacking claim to suppress the story. That act of censorship may well have changed the outcome of the election. So when the Daily Mail showed that the hacking excuse for suppressing the story was specious, I posted a link to the Daily Mail story on Twitter and Linkedin, with this introduction:
“The social media giants that won’t let you say the 2020 election was rigged are the people who did their best to rig it: Hunter Biden laptop was genuine and scandalous—Daily Mail”
Linkedin (but not Twitter) decided that I couldn’t say that.
I hadn’t been bullied by such a clueless authoritarian since high school. So instead of moving on to some less fraught topic I doubled down, posting five variants of my original post. The idea was to see exactly what it was about my original post that triggered Linkedin’s antibodies. I began by simply posting “The straight news version: The Hunter Biden laptop was genuine and scandalous, according to the Daily Mail.” Then I added a link to the Daily Mail story. Then I added commentary: “Social media suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story in the middle of the 2020 election campaign. Now we know that the story they suppressed was true.” In the fifth post, I was more pointed: “Social media won’t let you talk about election interference in 2020. Maybe that’s because it was social media that interfered in the election by suppressing a true story that would have hurt Joe Biden.” And, finally, I reposted the original, which said the same thing as the fifth, but talked about “rigging” rather than “interfering with” the election.
I thought there was a real possibility that Linkedin would deplatform me for the same reason the vice principal used to discipline me in high school – my palpable lack of respect for authority. But it was a risk I was willing to take in the name of science – trying to figure out exactly what triggered Linkedin’s content suppression machinery. To cut to the chase, Linkedin left up all of my posts except the one that repeated the original post. That came down, and I again was warned about Linkedin’s professional standards.
Yes, some Instapundit readers will have a stroke, but others understand that there are a few honest liberals out there (Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi) who will call balls and strikes in a fair way. Add Ken Silverstein to the list. This guy was one of the first to expose the race-hustle racket that is the SPLC:
“Today, the SPLC spends most of its time–and money–on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate. “He’s the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement,” renowned anti-death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, “though I don’t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye.”
The guy can write like a house afire:
“President Joe Biden’s signed a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill and while the usual pigs slopped up most of that at the national feeding trough, some money did go to us plebes. Sure, mega-rich dickhead Tom Brady got a government loan (under Trump) of just south of $1 million for his fraudulent “health and wellness” company. But why be bitter towards Brady — or the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or various Trump associates and family members who cashed in on Covid aid.”
And you have to love the honesty of a publication whose motto is “Shocking True Stories and Political Sleaze.” We should be so lucky if The New York Times were so self-aware. Many of the stories in Washington Babylon will anger you. I say “good.”
Here is a link to the archive of Andrew Branca’s commentary and analysis of the Derek Chauvin trial
Lots of useful information there, which will somehow be missed by the “news” media.
Material that could easily result in acquittal, and riots if it’s not being widely broadcast in other coverage of the trial.
Lt. Mercil works in the MPD training division in charge of use-of-force training and policy instruction. He was active in that capacity during the period preceding the Floyd events during which Chauvin would have received his department use-of-force training and policy instruction, which is what makes Mercil’s testimony relevant.
Mercil is also a genuine fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), saying (as many practitioners do, in my experience) that he had “fallen in love with the sport.” This was elicited on direct, led by Prosecutor Schleiter, no doubt to buttress Mercil’s credibility, as was the direct testimony of Mercil about his expertise in hand-to-hand force techniques as both a trainer and a street cop, and his mastery of MPD use-of-force policies. Little did Schleiter know how Mercil’s credibility would shortly boomerang on the prosecution.
Schleiter did his usual routine, where he portrayed use of force options as being cast in absolute and binary terms. If A, then B, if X then Y. Any variance of this was either out of MPD policy or at least “untrained by MPD” (an entirely different matter than being outside policy), and hence “wrong-act.”
Schleiter made use of the MPD use of force continuum, and presented it in the most childish and sterile context possible. If at this level of the continuum, officer can do this, but not that, correct. Mercil dutifully answered in the affirmative. But if at that level of the continuum, officer can do that, but not this. Again, yes.
Schleiter would also pose simplified and hypothetical scenarios only minimally representative of what occurred with Floyd and ask if the use of, say, a neck restraint in that hypothetical would be reasonable. Of course, the answer from Mercil, as intended that narrow and specific question, would be, no, unreasonable.
Missing from all of this direct, of course, was any context around the complex dynamics and circumstances that often surround a police use of force event. That Schleiter wants to avoid any such discussion is understandable, because doing so provides an appearance for at least reasonableness, if not outright justification, for Chauvin’s use-of-force decisions and conduct with respect to Floyd.
Another common routine from Schleiter when doing direct on state’s witnesses who have any purported use-of-force expertise is to show them the photo of Chauvin apparently (but perhaps not actually) kneeling on Floyd’s neck and asking, “Is this an MPD trained neck restraint?” Invariably the answer is in the negative.
That makes for a good headline, but in fact it’s not very informative on the actual issues of the case. Why? Because just because a technique may not be an “MPD trained” technique does not make it outside of policy, does not mean it was legally unjustified, and certainly does not mean it contributed to Floyd’s death—which is what the trial is supposed to be all about.
Once again, Schleiter touched on positional asphyxia, and once again I feel obliged to note that this doesn’t really help the state prove Chauvin’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the context of Floyd’s ingestion of a three-fold fatal dose of fentanyl. Certainly, if I had to choose between two situations, one in which I was placed in a prone position while handcuffed for 10 minutes, and another in which I was forced to ingest a three-fold fatal dose of fentanyl, I know which I’d pick, and quickly. There’s simply no reasonable comparison between those two risks to life.
So, the direct of Mercil was really just more of the Schleiter show we’ve already seen with other state’s witnesses. Kind of checking the boxes, but not even all the boxes needed to support the state’s narrative of guilt—and always by only exposing the jury to half the context, which is a dangerous ploy.
Basing your narrative of guilt on only half the context is a dangerous ploy because we, thank God, enjoy an adversarial legal system, and that means the defense gets to pop right up and expose the jury to the other half of the context, the half consistent with a narrative of innocence—and, in this case, they get to do so with your own witness.
And that’s precisely what happened with Mercil, and in a big, big way.
Nelson began by asking questions related to Mercil’s time as a street cop, with a particular emphasis on the tendency of suspects being subject to arrest to come up with all kinds of nonsense about why they shouldn’t be arrested that day.
Dangerous job, being a police officer? Yes. Are people generally unhappy about being arrested? Very rarely are they happy, Mercil answered. Do suspects frequently engage in a wide variety of behaviors to avoid arrest, including fighting, arguing, making excuses? Yes, they do, answered Mercil.
Indeed, when asked if he himself had ever disbelieved a suspect’s claim of a medical emergency as an apparent effort to avoid arrest, Mercil answered that he personally had done so.
All of this, of course, undercuts the part of the prosecution narrative that is relying on Floyd’s purported pleas and excuses about claustrophobia and anxiety and crying out for mama. Perhaps all of that is real—but a reasonable officer must also consider that maybe much of it is simply an effort to avoid arrest.
Nelson also once again put the use of pressure and body weight techniques in a favorable light. The state wants to present Chauvin’s knee in a negative light, as deadly mechanical asphyxiation, or as a “blood choke” as attested to by MMA Williams. In fact, however, the use of pressure and body weight to restrain a suspect was adopted by the MPD because it was a lesser intensity of force than the prior practice of using strikes—either barehanded, or with batons, or even with weighted gloves—to compel compliance. Mercil concurred.
The take home message for the jury is that Chauvin’s knee, far from being a public execution in a public street, was a lesser force than would otherwise have been required.
Whereas Schleiter wants to pretend that all of Chauvin’s use of force and other decisions should have been based solely on the needs and desires of Floyd, Nelson once again had the state’s witness concede that under the MPD critical decision-making model the officer must consider a wide breadth of factors beyond just the suspect, including the officer himself, his partners, any bystanders—especially angry or threatening bystanders.
Schleiter had described use of force in a very static and binary way—once a suspect stops resisting, the officer should immediately stop his use of force, period. But Nelson got Mercil to agree that if that suspect had been forcibly resisting the officer only moments before, that would be a factor weighing in favor of continuing to apply force even after apparent resistance had ceased.
That is, it’s not just what’s happening in the moment that counts, but what happened prior to that moment, as well. (Schleiter pulled this trick again with the last witness of the day, a Jody Stiger from LAPD acting as an expert witness for the state, and I don’t expect it to work out well there, either.)
Additional factors that a reasonable officer would take into account in deciding how much force to apply and for how long included a disparity in size between the officer and the suspect—and as we know, the 6’ 6” 230-pound Floyd was substantially larger than the 5’ 9” 140-pound Chauvin—as well as the circumstance in which a suspect not only fought police, but fought multiple officers—exactly as Floyd did in this instance.
When asked if additional use-of-force factors included if the suspect was believed to be on drugs, and whether being on drugs could give a suspect exceptionally great strength, Mercil agreed to both statements.
When asked explicitly if any of the video of the event showed Chauvin placing Floyd in a “choke hold” (in this context meaning a respiratory choke but the term has been used with careless disregard for accuracy) Mercil was obliged to answer that it did not.
When asked if a carotid choke, or what MPD would refer to as an “unconscious neck restraint” required both of the carotid arteries to be compressed, Mercil answered that it did. So much for MMA expert Williams’ testimony to the contrary.
Further, when asked how quickly unconsciousness occurred when a carotid choke was placed, Mercil answered “less than 10 seconds.” Clearly, then Floyd was not being subject to a carotid choke for the large majority of the 9 minutes or so Chauvin had his knee in place, and likely never during that period.
When asked if Mercil trained officers that a suspect who had become unconscious could regain consciousness, get back into the fight, and perhaps even be more aggressive than previously, Mercil responded that he did.
This, of course, is a rationale for Chauvin maintain his knee across Floyd’s back even after Floyd lost consciousness.
As noted above, Nelson also explored with Mercil whether there were circumstances in which it would be appropriate for an officer to maintain a neck restraint for a substantial period of time, and Mercil conceded that there were.
Sometimes to maintain the neck restraint for however long it took EMS to arrive, asked Nelson? Mercil answered that he, personally, had maintained restraint on suspects for the duration required for EMS to arrive.
To ensure the point: The state’s own use-of-force expert testified on cross that he personally had engaged in use-of-force conduct that the state had been using to demonize Chauvin as an unlawful killer. That’s not a good day for the state.
Nelson also again re-emphasized the reality that the officer involved in a use-of-force event must consider not just the suspect, but also the presence of an angry and growing mob observing what might well look like an ugly use of police force, and Mercil agreed that was the case.
On the issue of providing timely medical care, an issue the state pushes with particular energy, Nelson had Mercil agree that while MPD policy is to provide care as soon as possible, that must take into consideration the safety of the scene, and that the MPD policy actually requires that it first be safe for the officer to provide care before the officer has the duty to provide that care.
Indeed, factors such as whether a suspect had just been fighting with the officers was huge in determining whether an officer could reasonably provide care—especially if that “care” would be chest compressions requiring the suspect to have their handcuffs removed. Mercil answered in the affirmative.
Later, on re-direct, Schleiter would attempt to diminish the damage of this bit of testimony by asking Mercil if bystanders merely taking videos would constitute a reason to not provide care. The answer, of course, was no.
But that merely provided Nelson with the lay-up opportunity on re-cross to ask whether a mob shouting insults and outright threats would constitute such a reason—and that was conduct of the mob in this event—and the answer to that, of course, was yes.
Similarly, Nelson hit back on the state’s emphasis on the whole “recovery position” narrative in the context of hypothetical positional asphyxia. Might there be circumstances that would prevent putting a suspect in a recovery position? Mercil answered that there were.
If that all sounds bad enough for the prosecution, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It was at this point that Nelson showed Mercil a series of photographs captured from the body worn camera of Officer Lane, and showing Chauvin’s knee on Floyd from the angle down Floyd’s proned body.
Photo 1: Where’s Chauvin’s leg in this image? On Floyd’s neck? Or on his shoulder blades and back. Mercil: Shoulder blades and back.
And in photo 2? Same. Photo 3? Same. Photo 4? Same.
This, of course, fundamentally undercuts the prosecution’s narrative of guilt that it was Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck that killed Floyd.
Are there circumstances like those already discussed where would be appropriate to maintain presence of leg across shoulder blades and back in order to ensure control of the suspect? Yes, there are, Mercil answered. For as long as 10 minutes? It’s possible.
In other words, the use of the restraint can be justified not only to compel compliance of the suspect in the first place, but to ensure that the suspect maintains compliance moving forward—especially given the experience and concern that unconscious suspects can revive and be even more violent than they were prior, even if that restraint is being held in place for as long as 10 minutes. And that’s not just for the safety of the officer, but also for the officer’s partners, for bystanders, and even for the suspect himself.
Just devastating for the state’s narrative, and all of it coming from the state’s own MPD use of force expert.
And there’s more. RTWT.