OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police has responded after Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired the first clips of more than 41,000 hours of surveillance video from the Jan. 6 riot never seen by the public on Monday, during which he claimed Americans have been “lied” to by politicians and other officials about events that transpired that day.
Police Chief Tom Manger condemned the comments made during the airing of the footage on Carlson’s Monday night program, stating that it was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot of January 6, 2021, when a group of people breached the U.S. Capitol building, causing disruptions to lawmakers who were in the process of certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger claimed. “The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”
NEW – Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger sends internal memo this am saying Carlson’s report was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about Jan. 6 and says the “opinion program” never reached out with appropriate context. Reporting w/ @rachelvscott pic.twitter.com/BrnD0n4IN1
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) March 7, 2023
Manger specifically objected to a segment that featured Capitol Police officers guiding Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” through the Capitol building and Carlson’s portrayal of them as “tour guides.”
He also expressed concern about Carlson’s emphasis on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who a medical examiner found had died of natural causes after suffering a stroke a day after the January 6 incident while protecting the Capitol, the Daily Wire reported.
Manger noted that Capitol Police “maintains, as anyone with common sense would, that had Officer Sicknick not fought valiantly for hours on the day he was violently assaulted, Officer Sicknick would not have died the next day.”
Manger went on to thank and praise members of the Capitol Police force in his memo, commending their efforts on January 6. “You fought like hell on January 6 and risked your lives to protect the Constitution and everything this country stands for,” he wrote. “You, along with our law enforcement partners, saved every member of Congress and their staff.”
It is unknown whether Manger has been invited to appear on Carlson’s show to provide his perspective, although Carlson frequently invites guests with opposing views. Additionally, some would argue that the First Amendment was created to empower a free press to hold officials at all levels of government accountable. In that context, Carlson simply showed video footage from the day of the incident that contradicted some of the official narratives put forth by both political parties and Capitol Police officials after the fact.
Regarding Chansley, “Virtually every moment of his time inside the Capitol was caught on tape,” Carlson said. “The tapes show the Capitol Police never stopped Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as his tour guides.”
The footage depicts the officers leading Chansley past a group of seven officers standing outside the Senate chamber who seemingly ignore his presence. They guide Chansley to several entrances of the chamber, which seem to be locked, but eventually assist him in opening a door, allowing him to enter the chamber.
Chansley, a 33-year-old Navy veteran from Arizona, was jailed for nearly four years for his involvement in “obstructing an official proceeding.”
“The one very serious regret that I have [is] believing that when we were waved in by police officers, that it was acceptable,” he told Carlson during a jailhouse interview the host played on his show.
Capitol Police have stated that one of the officers accompanying Chansley was attempting to “de-escalate” the situation, as he was outnumbered. However, it remains unclear how Chansley, who was not carrying any weapons, was able to pass by an additional group of seven officers without being detained, raising questions about the security response to the events of January 6th.
“Not one of them even tried to slow him down,” Carlson said. He “understood that the Capitol Police were his allies. … If he was in the act of committing such a grave crime, why didn’t the officers standing right next to him place him under arrest?”
“Jacob Chansley became the face of January 6, a dangerous conspiracy theorist dressed in an outlandish costume who led the violent insurrection to overthrow America’s democracy,” Carlson added.