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Recently released bodycam video from DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers provides more angles to the Jan. 6 beating of protester Victoria White in the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
The newest bodycam footage, from Officer Jeffrey Leslie, was captured directly behind MPD Cmdr. Jason Bagshaw, who landed most of the baton strikes and punches to White’s head and face during a four-minute span on Jan. 6, 2021.
In the Leslie footage, three officers land strikes, jabs, and stabs at White in the tunnel, starting just before 4:10 p.m.
An ear-piercing siren blared throughout White’s time in the tunnel, making it difficult to hear what was being said.
Bagshaw used his steel baton like a lance and a spear for some of the strikes on White, thrusting it through gaps between other officers and along the tunnel wall as White spun around trying to shield herself.
Officer Leslie slid his baton along the tunnel wall behind the legs of an MPD officer standing on a ledge. It’s not clear if those strikes made contact with White.
At 4:08 p.m., Bagshaw jabbed overhand like a spear, then switched to forehand and delivered at least six blows. On the video, the bright red of White’s sweater was visible occasionally through the arms and bodies of the officers who surrounded her.
The bodycam of the officer standing on the ledge showed Bagshaw’s closed fist as he repeatedly punched White with his left hand. She was visible only briefly, but previously released overhead security camera footage captured the punches to White’s head and face.
‘You’re Going to Kill Her’
Another bodycam, from an officer farther ahead in the tunnel, shows a man in the corner who begged police not to strike White, just as Bagshaw began punching her.
At 4:09 p.m., the man said: “No, no, no, please! Please don’t beat her,” according to the video. Two minutes later, as police shouted at him to “move it, keep walking!” the man replied, “No! You’re going to kill her!”
White stood with her back to the tunnel wall with her arms crossed above her in an effort to protect her head from the batons.
At 4:09 p.m., an officer to Bagshaw’s left made an overhead spearing motion with at least nine thrusts at White, the video shows.
When White’s back was again pressed against the tunnel wall, Bagshaw used his right hand and stabbed his baton at her six times, the video shows.
White said she was horrified by the bodycam images.
“God allowed me to blackout for a reason,” White told The Epoch Times. “I honestly thought one or two officers beating me from the other publicly released footage was horrific, but it looks like four or more had beat me.
“To make matters worse is that all this footage I’m seeing for the very first time wasn’t shown to me by any attorney,” White said. “The last two bodycams were exculpatory, as I’m sure this is.”
White Faces Charges
In a superseding indictment filed in January 2022, White was charged with civil disorder and aiding and abetting, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. She pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
White had been scheduled to enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors at a February hearing, but decided days earlier to reject a plea and proceed to a May 8 trial date. At a March 3 hearing before U.S. District Judge John Bates, White said she planned to obtain new legal counsel.
On Feb. 10, prosecutors asked Judge Bates to jail White because she had been on Capitol Hill meeting with GOP lawmakers as part of a group that included Micki Witthoeft—the mother of Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd. They said White’s presence in Washington violated her terms of pretrial release. The judge did not jail her but said any meetings with federal lawmakers would have to be pre-approved.
In the original statement of facts filed by the FBI in White’s case, the government included video screenshots of White’s hands and asserted she was trying to grab a police shield, grab at the officer on the ledge, and use her hand “to block the baton.” The document says police were trying to “fend her off.”
The document does not mention the 39 blows to White’s head, face, and body delivered by Bagshaw and other officers. Nor does it detail how the officer on the ledge repeatedly sprayed oleoresin capsicum onto her face as she flopped back and forth between officers—something revealed on security-camera video.
Federal prosecutors in another Jan. 6 criminal case identified Bagshaw as the MPD supervisor who repeatedly struck White.
Metropolitan Police Department has declined to comment on White’s case. The department deemed all of its uses of force on Jan. 6 to be justified.
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