More Curious Details Emerge About Capitol Riot
The movie “Judas and the Black Messiah,” about Chicago Black Panther Fred Hampton, is a story of federal skulduggery against leftists using informants. It’s a good story, and most of it is even true. But it’s far less acceptable in today’s climate to acknowledge the same sort of tactics are used against the right, maybe even more often.
This is what I have in the back of my mind whenever we have one of our periodic arguments about the shifting of counterterrorism resources from white nationalists to Islamic extremists or the wrangling over which one constitutes the “greatest threat.” It’s not a very interesting argument, even if the cases for the former begin their tallies on September 12, 2001. What journalists are really saying is they’d prefer to cover stories about federal law enforcement radicalizing then arresting white nationalists than the same type of stories about Islamic extremists.
In response to the Black Lives Matter protests last year, the DC city council passed a police reform law “requiring swift release of the names and body-camera footage of officers who use force on civilians,” according to the Washington Post. There is a jurisdictional conflict since the shooting of Ashli Babbitt occurred on federal property, but according to RealClearInvestigations, DC’s Metro PD is involved in the investigation.
The standard of BLM-aligned police reformers is that cops who shoot civilians need to be identified, even when the civilian in question is committing a crime. Yet this cop who shot an unarmed Trump supporter has not been. The standard needs to be consistent, not dependent on the political beliefs of the shooting victim. Will DC’s City Council call for the application of the same standard here? Don’t count on it.
The footage by Jayden X, a left-wing activist who sold his footage of the January 6 riot to news networks, raises even more questions about the shooting. About two and a half minutes of tape, 33:30 to about 36:00, show the events just prior to and just after the shooting. Initially, there are three Capitol Police officers standing outside the door to the Speaker’s Lobby. Those officers leave, and rioters begin to hammer on the door.
When the officers move away from the doors, looking at the footage, they didn’t go far. Immediately after the shooting are shown a larger number of considerably more heavily-armed police in the stairwell just beside Babbitt who swarm around her lifeless body and regain control of the situation. Paul Sperry’s report for RealClear argues the following:
Some critics argue the lieutenant panicked and should have waited for backup before firing. But those briefed on his account said he believed he was alone with no chance of assistance. He maintained he was not aware that three uniformed officers were posted on the other side of the doors, and did not know that a SWAT team armed with assault weapons and tactical gear was moving in to replace them.
This sounds dubious to me based on the video. The officer inside the doors would have been able to see them. They’re standing right there. The shot was so close it could even have hit one of them. They could have also pulled Babbitt down when she tried to climb through the window.
Another key individual in this scene is the one in the Proud Boys shirt pictured here, who moves to the front of the crowd at 34:00 just before the officers disappear:
He says, “these aren’t the ones we’re supposed to be mad at,” after pushing the crowd back a bit. At 34:12 he obtains a helmet from somewhere, before the officers leave at 34:30:
He is then shown kicking on the door and beating it with his helmet. The shot comes at 35:06. This guy, who managed the crowd while the cops get out of the way, then escapes down the stairwell past the SWAT team, behind police lines.
It turns out our apparent Proud Boy entered the crowd from behind police lines as well. You can see him arrive at 24:21, where he immediately begins causing a stir, and is actually shouted at by an elderly Trump supporter for making such a ruckus amid the cops. It’s mighty curious stuff. If anyone has this guy’s name or information about whether he’s been charged with anything, I’d like to know.
A few words are in order about Jayden X, or John Sullivan, the man shooting this footage. He is a BLM activist, though he’s been disavowed by other BLM activists in several cities for his attention-seeking and alleged agent provocateur behavior. He’s been charged for breaking a window, and at other points in the video he says things like “burn this shit” and “I have a knife.”
Sullivan was himself the subject of documentary filmmaking that day, though no footage from the person following him around has yet been released. Jade Sacker, who contrary to reports did not work for CNN, was filming him for what she claims is a documentary about the divergent activism of Sullivan and his brother, James, a conservative who reported his brother to the FBI for his involvement in events here. The Sullivan brothers were adopted into a Mormon family, formerly of Stafford, Virginia, who moved to Utah.
Sullivan appeared beside Sacker for an Anderson Cooper interview shortly after the riot, in which Sullivan claims a Capitol Police officer was crying, saying he wanted to go home to his kids. None of that appears in his footage.
Sacker and John Sullivan embrace under the Capitol dome, though some of the footage is missing. They have the following exchange
Sacker: “I’ll give you your hug now we did it. You were right, we did it.”
Sullivan: “I was trying to tell you, I couldn’t say much.”
Sacker: “You were right”
Sullivan: “You just have to watch my chat”
What couldn’t he say much about? These moments also seem to suggest a closer relationship between the two than one of filmmaker and subject. Sullivan says at one point, “you gotta give me a real kiss for that shit,” and she says after the cut that “you weren’t recording that were you?” to which he responds, “I’ll delete that shit,” which he appears to have done.
The AP report contains quotes from her about these moments:
Sacker told the AP the video was shot early in the insurrection, “before crowds closed in” and Babbitt was shot, which she said she did not witness. She said when she gave Sullivan a hug, she had been separated from him throughout the day and had been relieved to see him.
“My statements after this are not ones of conspiratorial success, but rather that I was shocked we were on the frontlines of covering this historic and very surreal event. At the time, I hadn’t seen John’s footage or heard many of the things he was saying,” Sacker said.
Sacker told the AP she had asked Sullivan not to record because “I am incredibly private.”
The two of them also are speaking immediately outside the Capitol building, so presumably they got separated, and then reunited under the Capitol dome. One wonders, if Sullivan was her subject, why they were so often separated during the capitol riot, one would think she would want to have her camera on him.
There are some other odd things about this Sacker documentary. One wonders, given Sullivan’s activities that day, whether he can credibly be portrayed as a leftist after his involvement. At one point Sullivan extends a hand to a Trump supporter climbing a wall outside the Capitol, and he repeatedly behaves in ways or says things that don’t sound like someone who’s just observing. Perhaps the thrust of the movie will change.
According to Max Blumenthal, Sacker’s documentary is being backed by Thor Halvorssen, the neocon human rights activist. Sacker’s own resume is quite interesting. She has reported from the front lines of Northern Syria, and taken photos among the Rohingya.
Let’s add this all up: two brothers with a history of hard-edged activism, one of whom has been accused of provocateur behavior, being covered by an “incredibly private” documentarian with a history of reporting in conflict zones of interest to the foreign policy establishment, whose project is allegedly backed by a notable neocon financier. I know what this looks like to me, but readers can draw their own conclusions. Sullivan may not be an antifa agitator and Sacker may not be a CNN reporter, but boy is the whole thing suspicious.
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