Prosecutors fighting to keep pro-Donald Trump sheriff’s deputy in jail for participating in the Capitol Hill riot in January have shown shocking video footage of the deputy brawling with cops outside the United States Capitol.
Ronald Colton McAbee of Tennessee was arrested in August and slapped with eight federal charges, including assaulting a police officer, because of his participation in the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January. Although a Tennessee court has ordered his release until his possible trial, federal prosecutors this week fought in a Washington court to keep him behind bars.
In previously released body camera footage, shown again in court on Wednesday, McAbee – who wore a “Sheriff” patch – could be seen shooting a Washington DC Metropolitan Police officer to the ground. Another rioter helped pull the cop down, and when another officer came to his colleague’s rescue, McAbee leaned over the officer in what prosecutors said were metal knuckle gloves. , and returned to immobilize the first officer on the ground.
Rioters can be heard in videos calling for officers “foam” and “F ** king traitors”.
“These videos are very, very disturbing”, District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said Wednesday during McAbee’s detention hearing, according to CourthouseNews. “It was not a momentary error in judgment”, prosecutors argued. “The accused dressed in a way that indicated he expected violence on Capitol Hill.”
⚠️ TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ The DOJ has just released new body camera footage from the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. The violence seen here is a direct result of the “Stop the Steal” rally which @RepublicanAGs helped to organize.pic.twitter.com/A7iDt0Miub
– Democratic AGs (@DemocraticAGs) July 9, 2021
“If released, the accused would have even more opportunities to unleash violence against those he considers harmful to the country”, they wrote, pleading for his continued detention.
McAbee’s defense attorney Isaiah Gant argued the former deputy was of good character, was not affiliated with any “Dangerous group”, repelled the officers in defense, and should therefore be released from prison and confined to his home.
Sullivan will rule on McAbee’s release within the next two weeks.
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McAbee is one of more than 600 people arrested to date in connection with the Capitol Riot. About a quarter of these rioters are currently held in prison, and their offenses range from conspiracy and assault to simple trespassing. The riot briefly interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory by Congress, and lawmakers met again that evening to formalize Biden’s victory. The events of the day were nonetheless qualified as “insurrection” and “Domestic terrorism” by Democrats, liberal pundits and intelligence agencies.
As videos seen by the court on Wednesday show a violent crowd outside the Capitol, prosecutors lost a court battle a day earlier to keep surveillance footage from inside the building secret. The footage showed a crowd of protesters moving around the Capitol in a relaxed manner, and his release sparked outrage from conservatives. “Hell, they weren’t even intruders, they were a group of tourists,” expert John Cardillo declared.
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