UPDATED, with comment from Nancy Pelosi: Police video footage of the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was released on Friday after a judge sided with media organizations in their request to gain access to the material.
The graphic footage shows police officers knocking on the front door of the Pelosi home. When the door is opened, Paul Pelosi is standing with the suspect, David DePape, and they are both holding onto a hammer. After an officer orders, “Drop the hammer!,” the suspect replied, “Nope.” Then, the video shows the suspect raising the hammer above his head and striking it at Pelosi. Police then rushed into the home, with one officer saying, “Oh, s—!”
DePape has pleaded not guilty to an array of state and federal charges in the attack. Paul Pelosi has been recovering from his injuries, after suffering a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and hands.
According to court filings, DePape told police that he was searching for the House speaker and intended to tie her up and break her knee caps. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C. at the time of the Oct. 28 early morning attack.
The video was played in open court in a hearing last month, and news organizations, including the Associated Press and major broadcast and cable news networks, sought access to the material. Judge Stephen M. Murphy ordered the release of the material.
When the video was released, Fox News carried the footage while CNN and MSNBC were on coverage of a press conference of Tyre Nichols’ family in advance of the release of police video footage. Five Memphis officers have been charged in the death of Nichols. CNN went to the footage after the press conference. MSNBC later showed footage from a security camera showing the suspect scoping out the Pelosi residence and breaking in. ABC News showed footage in a David Muir special report on ABC News Live, but cut it off just as the suspect started to wave a hammer.
The video squares with accounts of the incident that have surfaced in media and police reports. Nevertheless, the incident was the source of conspiracy theories, including one advanced on Twitter by the company’s new owner Elon Musk.
Geraldo Rivera, a rotating co-host of The Five on Fox News, wrote on Twitter, “Every journalist/host who sowed doubt and ridicule on the bonafides on the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi should feel a tinge of shame and regret. But you won’t.”
Also released was audio of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call and of the suspect’s confession.
Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she has “absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”
She said that her husband is “making progress, but it will take more time.”
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a statement, “The violent attack on Paul Pelosi was unconscionable and his assailant must be brought to justice. We live in dangerous times of unprecedented extremism and political violence which have no place in our democracy or in the everyday lives of elected officials and their loved ones.”
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