WASHINGTON, DC — Accounts of the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 opened the second day of testimony in the trial of Capitol rioter Doug Jensen on Wednesday.
A witness described the Des Moines, Iowa resident as one of the first to break into the US Capitol, becoming the “mob’s boss” at one point.
Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, hailed as a hero for leading protesters away from the not-yet-empty Senate Chamber, recounted his experience on January 6 before the jury on Wednesday afternoon.
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Look:Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman stands up to Jan. 6 rioters on the steps of the Senate
Before confronting Jensen and other rioters in the halls of the Capitol, Goodman helped push protesters back to the west side of the building, where he witnessed “fighting and beatings.” He was hit in the head with what he believed to be fruit and a bear sprayed in the face before retreating inside a makeshift sorting station with buckets and water, where he said he vomited. And then he went back into the crowd.
“I did what I had to do to pull myself together, then I went back outside,” he said.
He came back inside after hearing over the radio that the building had been breached. Shortly after, he ran to the Senate, which he had also heard about on his radio had been infiltrated.
It was there that Goodman came face to face with Jensen, whom he identified in court Wednesday by pointing at him with his index finger.
Goodman described Jensen as if “aggressive” threatened to shoot him. Jensen, Goodman said, responded by telling the officer to “Do what you have to do.” The comment raised eyebrows from several jurors.
The defense argued that despite Jensen’s verbal beatings, he was not wielding weapons like many other protesters. Goodman testified that “QAnon Shaman” Jake Angeli was holding a flag that appeared to be sharp as a spear and that other protesters had bats and flags which they used to push officers. Jensen didn’t, he said.
But Goodman pushed back against the defense’s implication that Jensen was harmless.
“I focused on his actions,” Goodman said.
“Total Chaos” at the Capitol
United States Capitol Police Inspector Thomas Lloyd, a 32-year veteran of the force who confronted Jensen at the Capitol, said his job that day was coordinating the arrival of the vice president of the Mike Pence at the time, and his Secret Service team in the Senate chamber. .
Minutes after Pence and his team arrived, around 12:30 or 12:40 p.m., Lloyd said, he received a call from U.S. Capitol Deputy Chief of Police Chad Thomas, warning him that “lots of people” were coming. towards him. .
He said he had never heard panic in Thomas’s voice until that day.
He spent the rest of the day fending off rioters from the front lines on the west side of the Capitol and in both houses of Congress. He repeatedly described the scene as “complete chaos” and “utter chaos”, as rioters used bats, sections of fence and tools left behind by a construction crew as weapons.
“There were just a few of our officers against hundreds of thousands of people,” Lloyd said.
Jensen trial: ‘Not a whodunit affair’: Trial of Capitol rioter Doug Jensen begins with opening speech
USCP Inspector Jensen clashes
Lloyd recalled Jensen as “the guy from QAnon”, because of the giant red, white and blue “Q” plastered on his shirt.
Shortly after 2 p.m., Lloyd came face to face with Jensen in the Senate wing of the Capitol complex. He described Jensen as “arrogant” and “arrogant”, and the “leader of the mob at the time”, beckoning the rioters forward.
“He knew he had a lot more muscle behind him than I did,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said Jensen urged him and the handful of officers with him to return the building to the mob. After Lloyd refused, Jensen asked Lloyd to arrest Pence, who was on Capitol Hill in his capacity as Speaker of the Senate to preside over Joe Biden’s presidential victory certification ceremony.
In rebuttal, defense attorney Christopher Davis argued that the police had not drawn their weapons and that Lloyd could not have known the intentions behind Jensen’s gesture to the crowd which he interpreted as signaling them to ‘to advance.
Prosecution and defense give roadmap to case in opening remarks
Jensen faces seven criminal charges, including one count of civil disorder, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The heart of the prosecution’s case are the numerous videos and images of Jensen on Capitol Hill.
During their opening remarks, prosecutors showed video of Jensen entering the building, yelling at officers and chasing U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman down a Capitol stairwell.
Jensen is easily identifiable in the images thanks to his outfit: a beanie and black shirt with a giant “Q” on it, in homage to the QAnon conspiratorial movement, worn over a gray and black sweatshirt.
The defense did not attempt to claim that Jensen was not present at the Capitol that day, instead painting a distinction between Capitol rioters “dressed in costume” and those “dressed for battle” – which they argued that Jensen was among the first.
“This is not a whodunit case,” Davis, Jensen’s attorney, said in his opening remarks.
Seven Prosecution Witnesses
The prosecution said it plans to call seven witnesses in in addition to Lloyd and Good man.
FBI Special Agent Tyler Johnson, who conducted an interview with Jensen in Des Moines days after the attack, and a Secret Service agent assigned to evacuate Pence from the Capitol are also willing to testify.
Male-dominated jury selected
The trial began Monday with jury selection, which dragged on for most of Tuesday’s proceedings. The jury, which includes two alternates, is made up of 10 men and four women.
The trial should not last more than a few days, the judge said.
Of the eight Capitol riot cases that have gone to trial so far, none have resulted in an acquittal or dismissal.
Learn more about Jensen’s trial preparation