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Newly Surfaced Videos Highlight Violence And Danger Of Riot On Capitol Hill

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

As the second week of 2021 begins, we're getting more clarity about the terrifying events of the first. Over the last few days, more videos, many very disturbing, have surfaced showing just how violent, just how dangerous the situation was at the Capitol last Wednesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Recordings like this of the crowd chanting, hang Mike Pence, as they stood at the doors of the Capitol, where the vice president sheltered in place inside, or this one aired last night by CBS, taken by one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's staff members while huddling in the dark underneath a table as protesters try to break in.

(SOUNDBITE OF RAMMING DOOR)

KELLY: Another video obtained by CNN shows a crowd of extremists gathered around an entrance to the Capitol when one of them grabs a police officer, drags him into the crowd and he's beaten.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Police officer - don't hurt him. He's a [expletive] police officer. [Expletive] you.

CHANG: A Huffington Post reporter captured this terrifying moment. As much as any other, it shows just how disastrous things could have been.

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT AMBIENCE)

KELLY: A single officer stands in a doorway, facing off against a mob of rioters. He has one arm outstretched, gesturing for them not to come through the door. With his other arm, he can be seen reaching for but not drawing his gun.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Back up. Back up.

CHANG: The officer is Black. The mob he's attempting to prevent from entering is mostly men and appear to be mostly white. They advance slowly, and the officer backs away. He picks up a baton from the ground and swats it in their direction a few times, but they keep coming, backing him up several flights of stairs. He turns around, takes the stairs two at a time, shouting his location into his radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Second floor.

KELLY: At the top of those stairs, the officer has a choice - go left or go right. He turns left, drawing the rioters down a hallway where they're met by a handful of other Capitol police. According to Igor Bobic, the reporter who shot the video, that was at 2:16 p.m. Turning back at the stairs would have taken the rioters into the Senate chamber, where the Washington Post reported that all doors were secured just a minute before at 2:15.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: This is our America. This is our America. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.