As Jazz pointed out yesterday, a group of media outlets including the AP went to court to force the release of this video. A judge agreed there was no justification for keeping this secret and it was finally released today. CNN reports other material related to the case has also been released.
San Francisco Superior Court on Friday released video and audio recorded during last year’s attack on Paul Pelosi after a California court ruled the district attorney’s office must make the materials public.
CNN has obtained the CD containing the files and is reviewing the materials. Audio from police interviews with alleged attacker David DePape, as well as 911 calls, police body camera footage and home surveillance video was among the materials expected to be released, the court previously said…
The court’s decision mandating the public release of the materials came following a motion by a coalition of news organizations, including CNN, arguing that the circumstances involving the residence of the then-speaker of the House demanded transparency.
Lawyers for DePape argued against the public release of the audio and footage, writing it would “irreparably damage” his right to a fair trial. DePape has pleaded not guilty to a litany of state and federal crimes related to the attack, including assault and attempted murder.
I can bet that DePape and his attorneys aren’t happy about this because it makes this a very open and shut case. Here’s the video:
🚨BREAKING: The Paul Pelosi bodycam video has been released.
Here is the full video. pic.twitter.com/Z254Q8NGIM
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 27, 2023
My first reaction is that police seem very low key in the first half of this clip. There is zero sense of urgency as they approach the house and even after the door opens on a weird scene of two men holding a hammer they seem confused.
As for all the previous stories, I think some of those are settled now. For one, Paul Pelosi did open the door. But previous stories also suggesting he walked to the door and then walked back toward DePape. Here’s how Ed described a report from NBC back in November:
NBC offers new details this morning on the police response before the attack — and Paul Pelosi’s curious reaction to it, at least at first. According to their sources, Pelosi himself opened the door when police arrived, and rather than walk out, began to walk back toward assailant David DePape. DePape even assured police that everything was “good,” which — given the broken window — police clearly didn’t believe.
That report from NBC was clearly wrong about a couple of things. Pelosi did open the door but there’s a reason why he didn’t walk out immediately. He was holding onto the hammer with one hand, clearly to prevent DePape from having control of it. Also, Pelosi barely moves after opening the door. He did not walk back toward DePape. His right foot didn’t move at all.
Pelosi did say “Hi guys. How are you?” to the police which didn’t sound very alarmed. My guess is he was hoping police would clue in to what was happening without him shouting for help at that point. But Pelosi was not the person who said “everything’s good.” That was DePape. I can’t actually see DePape’s lips moving very clearly in this small clip but it’s clearly his voice. When he’s told to drop the hammer he replies, “Um, nope.”
At this point, DePape is trying to wrestle the hammer away from Pelosi and Pelosi is fighting back, but he only has one hand on it and DePape has two. Meanwhile the cops are just standing there watching to see what happens next. Not until DePape yanks the hammer away and takes a swing at Pelosi do they start moving. By then it’s too late.
I get that the police didn’t know the situation here but what strikes me is that they arrived in time to act and then just waited for something to happen. Paul Pelosi must have been thinking he’d be safe if he could get the door open. Unfortunately he was wrong.
That said, it probably would have helped the cops if Pelosi had verbally asked for help at that point, even if he did it calmly. He could have simply said, ‘I’m the homeowner and he came in.’ That might have gotten the police to move toward DePape as the intruder. Again, the only thing that makes sense is that Pelosi was trying to keep this lunatic calm. It had worked so far so he didn’t want to shout or raise his voice even once police showed up.
Update: Here’s the NBC report that started a lot of this speculation. The claim that Pelosi “walked several feet back into the foyer toward the assailant and away from police” was dead wrong. It just didn’t happen.