Newly released surveillance footage of the January 6 Capitol riot shows two Capitol Police officers escorting Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” through the Capitol’s halls and to the US Senate door. The video, which was aired on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, depicts Chansley shirtless, wearing face paint, and a fur hat with Viking horns. As they walked, seven other officers stationed outside the Senate chamber scarcely gave them a second glance, allowing Chansley to enter the chamber unimpeded.
Chansley, a Navy veteran from Arizona, has been sentenced to nearly four years in jail for “obstructing an official proceeding.” The Capitol Police claim that one of the officers accompanying Chansley was attempting to “de-escalate” the situation, as he was outnumbered. Nevertheless, it remains unclear why Chansley, who was unarmed, was able to pass through seven additional officers without being apprehended.
Carlson suggests that the footage indicates that the Capitol Police acted as Chansley’s “tour guides” and made no attempt to stop him. Additionally, he questions why Chansley, who is often portrayed in the media as a dangerous conspiracy theorist, was able to walk freely with the assistance of the Capitol Police. In a jailhouse interview broadcast on Carlson’s show, Chansley expressed regret for believing that the police officers had granted him access.
The released video raises questions about the Capitol Police’s actions during the January 6 riot and their role in permitting Chansley’s entry into the US Senate. It also challenges the notion that Chansley was the symbol of the violent insurrection aimed at “toppling America’s democracy.”