Footage of the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, was made public Friday morning after petitions from news agencies to release the footage.
The video depicts the events of October 28, 2022, when 42-year-old David DePape allegedly broke into the Pelosis residence in San Francisco, California, in what he said was an attempt to convince the top Democrat, who was not present. to fall. at home at the time.
Instead, DePape encountered 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, hit him with a hammer, and left Pelosi with a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and hands. Pelosi survived his injuries, but was seen in public wearing a hat and gloves after the attack.
Media released Friday includes CCTV footage of police first arriving at the Pelosis home. Some of the footage had previously been shown last month during a preliminary public hearing.
“How are you man?” you hear an officer say, as body camera footage shows the two men — DePape in a hoodie, Pelosi in a long T-shirt and dark sleeper shorts — engaged in a tug-of-war over a hammer.
“Everything is fine,” DePape responds. The officer orders the men to “drop the hammer,” before asking, “What’s going on here?” It is at that point that DePape regains control of the hammer and makes a dramatic swing at Paul Pelosi, who tries to escape the blow.
The video does not show the moment of impact. The police rush forward to subdue DePape and request reinforcements. Labored breathing can be heard on the images and Pelosi lies limp on the floor, in a puddle of liquid.
Warning: The video below shows footage of violence from police cameras.
Just released police body camera video shows moments when David DePape assaulted Paul Pelosi at his #San Francisco home
WARNING: VIDEO IS GRAPHIC#Paul Pelosi #BREAK@Nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/rQZriBvOCm
— Bigad Shaban (@BigadShaban) January 27, 2023
San Francisco Supreme Court Justice Stephen M. Murphy agreed to release the footage Wednesday, despite concerns from prosecutors that the video could be manipulated or misused to spread false information.
False claims had surfaced on the internet in the wake of the attack, which took place just over a week before the scheduled 2022 midterm elections.
Figures like tech tycoon Elon Musk had shared unfounded claims that Paul Pelosi had somehow been involved in precipitating the attack, and there were many conspiracy theories that DePape had been framed, or that he and Pelosi had had a sexual relationship.
When news outlets — including the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press — attempted to obtain copies of the video, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office declined to comply, citing the possibility of misinformation.
But lawyers on behalf of the news agencies argued that access to the footage would be crucial to transparency in the case.
“You’re not just doing away with the public’s right of access because of conspiracy theory concerns,” Thomas R. Burke, a San Francisco-based attorney representing the news agencies, told the Associated Press.
DePape faces both state and federal charges for the assault. In state court, he faces charges of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and threatening a family member of a government official.
In federal court, he is charged with sexual assault of a close relative of a US official and attempted kidnapping of a US official. DePape has filed pleas of not guilty in both state and federal court.
Prosecutors allege that DePape, a resident of Richmond, California, had espoused QAnon conspiracy theories and false claims about the results of the 2020 presidential election online. DePape reportedly told police investigators after the attack that he believed there was “evil in Washington.”
On October 28, DePape is accused of breaking into Pelosi’s residence with a hammer and using a glass door to enter. Prosecutors said he planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and threatened to “break her kneecaps” if she didn’t confess what he considered “the truth.”
Instead, he found Paul Pelosi, who managed to call emergency services during the attack. Pelosi reportedly later awoke in a pool of his own blood and suffered a serious head injury after being struck with the hammer.
DePape is due to appear in court on February 23, when a trial date is to be set.
Republicans retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections, and Nancy Pelosi has since stepped down as the chamber’s top Democrat, succeeded by Hakeem Jeffries.