A few days ago, I chronicled how Capitol police were overrun in D.C. on January 6th. Rioters forced their way through the final line of barricades at about 2:30 pm. The ensuing mayhem led to destruction, violence against officers, and death, culminating on the upper terrace by the tunnel entrance. The lead actors might have been coordinated, I suggested.
But those guys were chumps compared to the squad before them.
Upon further review of footage available online and from Parler, video evidence reveals a tactical operation led by an organized group (or groups) whose sole purpose was to distract the police, remove barricades, and incense the crowd to frothy fury. They were the coordination inside the chaos turning the mob into their strongest weapon.
Beginning nearly two hours prior, the ground operation was conducted with nearly military precision by a riot advance party, and their precision was chilling. The sophisticated coordination of this small squad of enforcers, spotters, and inciters enabled and used the mob of thousands to seize the D.C. Capitol building.
If you’re looking for MAGA caps, you’re doing it wrong. In a sea of red, look for the orange.
Some early video coverage in the media and downloaded Parler videos made public focused on the destruction and lunacy inside the Capitol building. There is the Q Shaman in his Viking helmet and the dope stealing Nancy Pelosi’s podium. We’ve seen the flex-cuff zip-tie guy and the savage beating of two officers at the tunnel at approximately 4 pm.
But one has to question how the mob reached that boiling point. It all started much earlier, at about 12:30 pm, with a riot advance party and is annotated fully in the visual investigation video below.
Visual Investigation (Play annotated video)
In military terms, an advance party travels ahead of the main forces to conduct reconnaissance and to clear the way for the main body of troops. In this case, the troops were the lemmings who descended upon D.C. with their protein shakes and picnic chairs for a protest. Or perhaps they were like the lady who strutted to the rally in Chanel boots and her Louis Vuitton sweater, later found amongst the tunnel rioters who attacked law enforcement officers. LVMH Lady, Joe Sixpack with his picnic chair and all the others needed to be led by example and coaxed to riotous fury.
The riot advance party had two goals. Their primary objective was to remove all barricades and fences so that the crowd could inch forward. Enforcers cleared the road because they knew that LVMH Lady and Joe Sixpack were not likely to bust down a fence and risk arrest in the early hours of the siege. The advance party also knew that they had strength in mob numbers. The larger the crowd, the less chance of restraint by officers.
Mostly identifiable by orange tape, the riot advance party lit a match converting protesters into a combustible mob that sieged the Capitol and took lives.
The secondary objective was to rile up the crowd. A few hype-men and women riled up thousands, urging them closer to the front line of officers. To identify the squad in the crowd, just look where they are facing. Rioters foaming at the mouth might get in the grill of an officer and shout at the top of their lungs, “traitors!” But the advance party was facing the crowd, encouraging them to “don’t let them do this to you, this is your country!”
Listen for the phrasing. They are easy to spot. Well, that and the orange.
Orange is the new red
If you’re looking for MAGA caps, you’re doing it wrong. In a sea of red, look for the orange. And that’s not the group of Proud Boys in orange hats who identified themselves on camera as members of a state chapter. If anything, they were a distraction. Instead, look for the people on the front lines of each skirmish, who used the strategic placement of orange tape to recognize each other in the crowd of thousands.
One person in military garb with several strips of orange tape (alias “Helmet Head” in the linked video compilation) has been identified by law enforcement as a member of the Three Percenters in an arrest complaint. That man, Robert Giesewin, was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding a federal officer. Indeed, evidence reviewed in the composite video shows Giesewin spraying a substance at authorities holding guard at the steps of the Capitol building.
While many in the advance party are recognizable by orange tape, it is unclear if all of the squad are also Three Percenters, or if multiple groups collaborated to siege the building. But according to The Daily Beast, Giesewin is visible in footage from January 6, with a “Proud Boys member, identified by the FBI as Dominic Pezzola, breaking into the Capitol through a window.” Pezzola has been charged by federal prosecutors for his role in the riot. In the formal complaint, authorities claim that Pezzola’s group “would have killed [Vice President] Mike Pence if given the chance.”
Giesewin and several others can be seen brandishing baseball bats throughout the day. They never swung at officers in the videos reviewed, but that was the sleight of hand. For the most part, it seems they were trying to limit the direct contact to avoid arrest. They’d shake their weapons violently to enflame the mob, empowering others to amplify with violence.
But there were a few times caught on camera when they “set an example” for the mob. In one of the earliest altercations, a man in white sweat pants who resembles Bloodshot star Vin Diesel forces barricades forward, knocking a policewoman to the ground. Bloodshot then feigns trying to assist her as two additional police rush forward. This interaction builds the distraction needed for the mob to overtake the first gate.
At another pivotal moment, Bloodshot leads a group of rioters to retaliate against a blue line of officers after a rioter is injured while attacking police. He can be seen violently ripping a shield away from one officer as the mob joins in a frenzy.
Later, when the crowd is temporarily pushed back and beginning to heed officers’ warnings, some advance party members feel the need to step up the aggression. Helmet Head and “Cyclops,” a man recognizable by his swim goggles and the orange tape over his green military cosplay, decide the mob needs more encouragement. Those two and several others attempt to overrun a line of police standing guard using two metal barricades as weapons.
Purpose and precision
The precision of the group was chilling. In the first 20 minutes, two barricades were removed, clearing the path of 100 feet to the Capitol building. After receiving a message from “Elmer Fudd” (a heavyset man in green camouflage shirt and Trump cap), Bloodshot takes down the first gate, and the squad advances. The video show that giant strides leading them with purpose.
The advance party forms up at the front lines of the next barrier, a small black fence buttressed with metal fencing on the left curb. A man dressed in black with a neck gaiter, wielding a bat (alias “Shoulder Bat” in the visual investigation video) quickly removes a piece of fencing. On his right shoulder — a strip of orange tape.
Shoulder Bat quickly removes some fencing, while an bearded man in military fatigues (“Colonel Kurtz” can be identified by the orange tape on his helmet) and a petite couple (“Fred” and “Ethel” with orange tape affixed to their khaki caps) confuse officers with coordinated maneuvers to clear the corner fencing.
Bloodshot catches up with the others, and momentarily stands beside a man resembling Pezzola in front of officers.
Colonel Kurtz and Ethel take advantage of the moment when officers are focused on a rioter that they’ve restrained on the ground by badgering them, forcing the officer’s attention to them. Meanwhile, an accomplice on the opposite side of the corner with an orange chest marker waits for the officer to turn his head so he can remove the fence being guarded. This ballet takes them less than 30 seconds.
After that, the advance party rinsed and repeated — continuing to dizzy officers, drop barricades, and inch rioters forward by force or inciteful speech.
The riot advance party, mostly identifiable by orange tape, lit the match converting protesters into a combustible mob that sieged the Capitol and took lives. By 2 pm, the crowd had been incensed to fury and was on autopilot. By about 2:30 pm, police on the ground were completely overrun. Two hours later, the mob would assemble on the upper level. So frothy, they severely beat two officers and injured another who was crushed between doors. The riot has claimed five lives.
The video above shows the complete annotated visual investigation covering the riot advance team and sequence of events leading up to 2:30 pm. I covered the events on the west terrace following 2:30 pm last week.
Keep reading more about the D.C. Capitol riots:
‘Peaceful Protest’ Videos Reveal Violence And Destruction At D.C. Capitol Building Riot
A 2-hour visual timeline from multiple POVs of the west terrace assault show anything but peace
by David Leibowitz