Newly released video shows Capitol police allowed Jan 6 protesters to enter the Capitol building after acknowledging their right to “peacefully assemble.”
A newly-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. (The man in the yellow sweatshirt is William Watson, a drug dealer out on bond. He was arrested in January.)
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.
Most of the Capitol protesters were let into “The People’s House” because cops recognized they had the right to peacefully assemble.
Other cops were also filmed telling protesters they “disagree” with their protest but “respect” their right to do so.