Three undercover officers from the Metropolitan Police Department joined the march of protesters on the northwest side of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, including one who vaulted over a barricade and pushed others towards the Capitol, and another who walked behind Ashli Babbitt and predicted “someone will get hit,” according to newly disclosed court documents.
New court motions filed Jan. 6 by defendant William Pope of Topeka, Kansas also show MPD bike officers stopping four plainclothes gunmen Jan. 6. The men turned out to be federal agents. The video included with Pope’s documents also shows uniformed MPD officers saying, “we were ready” to fail on Jan. 6.
The information in the court documents will reignite debates about the role played by undercover officers and agents in the January 6 riots and why the US Department of Justice and federal judges kept the evidence sealed and out of sight of the public.
“This video clearly shows undercover law enforcement officers urging the crowd to advance up the stairs and scaffolding toward the Capitol Building on Jan. 6,” Pope wrote in a motion. “The government may claim that incidents like this didn’t happen, but the facts show that they did.
“Since the government cannot be trusted to disclose these facts,” Pope wrote, “it becomes even more important that defense teams, including Pro Se defendants, be able to examine the evidence directly.”
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The three undercover MPD agents approached the northwest corner of the Capitol at around 1:40 p.m. on Jan. 6, one of the motions says. Agent 1, who was filming their journey, joined the crowd in chanting, “Drain the swamp!”
As a group of men ran past them on their way to the Capitol, Officer 2, wearing a Trump cap, remarked, “Those kids are getting killed,” the motion said.
At the base of the scaffolding stairs, Officer 1 joined the crowd in chanting: “Whose house? Our house!”
“Agent 1 started yelling at the people in front of him to ‘Go, go, go!’ As they clambered onto the bike racks, Officer 1 shouted at the crowd to “help him up, help him up!” followed by ‘push him up, push him up!’” read Pope’s motion describing how Agent 1 vaulted over a barricade.
“Needing help to get up, Officer 1 asked a nearby man to give him a push,” the motion reads. “The man gives agent 1 a lift and agent 1 says ‘Thank you, brother.'”
Officer 1 pushed the protesters in front of him to advance towards the Capitol, shouting, “come on, come on, come on, let’s go!”, the motion read. The people around him vaulted over the bicycle rack-style barricades and scaffolding that had been set up for the presidential inauguration.
Right behind Ashli Babbitt
At one point, Officers 2 and 3 were almost directly behind Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt on the outside stairs, about an hour before Babbitt was shot dead at the Speaker’s Lobby entrance, Pope said in a Message on Twitter on February 18.
“Why didn’t the government inform the public that undercover MPD officers were chanting: ‘Our home!’ and repeatedly urging protesters to climb the northwest steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6? Pope tweeted under his handle @FreeStateWill. “Agent 2 said someone was going to be hit and went up right behind Ashli Babbitt.”
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The video taken by the undercover agents is under court seal.
Pope argued in his motions that the DOJ is trying to block him from accessing the comprehensive databases of the Jan. 6 evidence. He is defending seven felony charges filed by federal prosecutors in February 2021. He has asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to force the DOJ to give him full access to the discovery materials.
In a motion filed in the court on Feb. 17, Pope included a tranche of bodycam video evidence not publicly disclosed before.
Bodycams of three MPD bicycle officers – Tyquan Brown, Daniel Styles and Christopher Vanacore – show them stopping a group of four men and a woman at 12:19, walking east during then-President Trump’s speech at the Ellipse . “Is anyone armed?” Brown asked. “We all are,” the men said, adding they were law enforcement officials. The woman was not armed.
The four men showed the MPD officers their law enforcement credentials and were allowed to continue on their way. The IDs all looked very similar, but the video doesn’t have enough resolution to read which agency they’re from. Brown chastised one of the men, “You gotta do a little better hiding it,” pointing at his concealed pistol.
MPD officer Lawrence Lazewski’s bodycam shows Lazewski and another MPD officer expressing belief that the police were “organized” on January 6.
After nearly 90 minutes in the police line on the west front of the Capitol, Lazewski retreated to the Upper West Terrace at 2:33 p.m. He approached a group of other officers, one of whom was in a heated discussion.
“They fixed us”
“They put the [expletive] stand,” said the officer. “That’s what they did. They accommodated us.
“They settled down [Unit] 64, absolutely, and then they ask you to come two hours later,” the officer said. “They set us up.”
Lazewski replied: “They needed all of them right away”, to which the other officer said: “No, right away, they put the [expletive] on. We do not have [expletive].”
Moments later, the unidentified officer said, “Take this mother[expletive]”, and waved his hand in the direction of the Capitol in disgust.
At about 2:40 pm, half an hour after the first Capitol violation, Lazewski who was outside the building approached another MPD officer on the side of the Capitol. On the way, he overheard a group of officers discussing the deployment of CS gas police along the barricades on the western front. Many officers were not equipped with gas masks.
“I didn’t know we were coming for this or I would have made sure we all had our masks on,” the officer told Lazewski.
“I didn’t realize how badly… they set us up to fail,” Lazewski said.
“They did,” replied the other officer.
“There was no way I was going to win it,” Lazewski said. “You now have at least four platoons that have just been eliminated.”
“Keep the march on”
Bodycam video of MPD Officer Terry Thorne shows him pleading with protesters along Constitution Avenue to the Capitol from Trump’s 12:30 speech to “keep on the march.”
“Let’s continue,” Thorne said, leading protesters away from a side street. “Let’s continue the march. Let’s continue like this. Guys, let’s keep going.”
MPD Officer Anthony Alioto’s bodycam offers a behind-the-scenes look at police action along the west front of the Capitol. His bodycam captured some of the actions of Officer Daniel Thau, who tasered protesters four times, threw countless rounds of ammunition into the crowd and fired a 40mm bullet at the protesters.
In Alioto’s video, Thau is shown using pepper spray on protesters which is partially blown back in the faces of the officers. “Hey Danny,” Alioto said. “Look at the direction of the wind!”
Officer Luke Foskett’s bodycam shows some of the chaos inside the Capitol. He approached a Capitol Police supervisor and asked, “Where do we start?”
“I do not [expletive] I know,” the man replied. “You mean getting caught with your pants down. We have no direction. [expletive] Radio.
“I called the command center and let them know you guys are here with us. At least you’re being tracked,” said the Capitol officer.
Officers in that section of the Capitol were looking for a man who might be armed. Someone asked the Capitol Police supervisor how they could identify the undercover officers.
“They will have a bracelet. Their guns will have a candy stripe on the barrel,” she said. “I don’t know the color of the bracelet, but they’re going to have a bracelet somewhere.”