More arrests in Capitol riot as videos reveal brutality

AP – Police arrested more Capitol rioters on Saturday, including a man who carried off the House speaker’s lectern, as more graphic details of the insurrection emerged, revealing the violence and brutality of the mob that stormed a seat of American political power.

A bloodied officer was crushed in a doorway screaming in Wednesday’s siege, which forced lawmakers to go into hiding for hours and halt their voting to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Another officer tumbled over a railing into the crowd below after being body-slammed from behind. Members of the media were cursed, shoved and punched.

A vast number of photos and videos captured the riot, which left five people dead. Many of the images were taken by the rioters themselves, few of whom wore masks that would have lowered not only their chances of contracting the coronavirus, but their chances of being identified. Some took pains to stand out.

Jacob Anthony Chansley, an Arizona man seen in photos and video of the mob with a painted face and wearing a costume that included a horned fur hat, was taken into custody on Saturday and charged with counts that include violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Chansley, more commonly known as Jake Angeli, will remain in custody in Arizona pending a detention hearing that will be scheduled during an initial court appearance early in the coming week, Assistant United States (US) Attorney Esther Winne told The Associated Press (AP) by email. Chansley did not immediately respond to messages left via email and telephone.

United States (US) President Donald Trump supporters confronted by a US Capitol Police officer outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington. PHOTO: AP

Chansley, who had become a staple in his costume at pro-Trump protests across the country, is now among dozens of people arrested in the wake of the Capitol invasion by a large mob of Trump supporters enraged over his election loss.

The rioters took over the House and Senate chambers, smashed windows and waved Trump, American and Confederate flags.

A Florida man accused of making off with Pelosi’s lectern during the chaos was arrested on Friday night on a federal warrant and was being held on Saturday without bail in Pinellas County, Florida. Jail records do not show if Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Florida, has an attorney.

Johnson was charged on Saturday with theft, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

The married father of five was quickly identified on social media by local residents as the man in a photo smiling as he walked through the Capitol rotunda carrying Pelosi’s lectern, The Bradenton Herald reported.

Johnson posted on social media that he was in Washington DC, during Wednesday’s riots and included disparaging comments about the Black Lives Matter movement, according to The Bradenton Herald. Those posts were later deleted or taken down.

During Wednesday’s violence, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was wounded in a confrontation with attackers and was reportedly struck by a fire extinguisher. He died on Thursday night.

Another officer was crushed in a doorway, but it’s unclear what happened to that officer, whose plight was captured on camera and shared by the progressive organisation Status Coup.

Members of media organisations, including the AP and The New York Times, were also attacked.

By Saturday, prosecutors had filed 17 cases in federal district court and 40 others in the District of Columbia Superior Court for a variety of offences ranging from assaulting police officers to entering restricted areas of the US Capitol, stealing federal property and threatening lawmakers.

Prosecutors said additional cases remained under seal, dozens of other people were being sought by federal agents, and the US attorney in Washington vowed on Friday that “all options were on the table” for charges, including possibly sedition.