by WorldTribune Staff, February 4, 2022
A 26-year-old Texas resident who was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 described in an interview with The Epoch Times the death of Rosanne Boyland in a Capitol tunnel after police unleashed gas on the crowd of protesters, beating many of them, including Boyland, with batons.
“It’s so terrifying to even bring it up,” Philip Anderson told The Epoch Times. “It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Anderson said he was at the bottom of a pile of people caused by a stampede out of the West Terrace tunnel. Next to him was Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia.
“She was begging and pleading. She was trying to scream but she couldn’t scream very loudly,” Anderson said. “She gave up on it and that’s when she reached out. She grabbed my hand. She’s reaching out to grab something. When she felt my arm, she grabbed my hand. She didn’t get to hold on for very long, though,” said Anderson, who did not know Boyland.
Anderson said he believes Boyland knew her time was quickly running out: “She was holding my hand and then her grip completely loosens. I’m pretty sure that she’s accepted at this point she’s going to die. She knows it’s the end.”
Anderson said he would have met the same fate as Boyland if it were not for fellow protester Jake Lang. He was at the tunnel entrance, begging police to stop pushing people out of the tunnel onto the pile.
Surveillance video shows Lang, wearing a gas mask, waving frantically at police.
“I’m screaming, Stop! Stop! You’re killing people. Stop pushing!” Lang told The Epoch Times in an interview from the District of Columbia jail, where he is being held awaiting trial on Jan. 6-related charges.
Lang said he tried to extract Boyland from the pile, but every time he helped remove one body from the mass, another one landed on top.
“Every single time I pulled another person off her, the police pummel somebody back over on top of her,” Lang said. “So she’s stuck at the bottom of this dog pile.”
A short time later, Boyland was freed from the pile, but she was no longer breathing. Protesters tried to render aid, but police sprayed many of them with mace, The Epoch Times report noted.
Boyland’s friend from Georgia, Justin Winchell, can be seen on police bodycam footage saying, “Rosanne! Rosanne! Rosanne!” His tone got more desperate. “She’s gonna die! She’s gonna die! …I need somebody! She’s dead!”
After she was pulled from the pile, bodycam video showed Boyland lying on the concrete nearby, unconscious. Then a Metro D.C. police offer began to beat the unconscious Boyland, striking her repeatedly in the ribs and the head.
“She was literally okay, walking around like everyone else: normally,” Anderson told The Epoch Times. “The difference is that she got gassed and she got crushed and she got some mace on her. And then after all of that happened to her, she’s getting beat down on with the baton.
The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia denied a Freedom of Information Act request by The Epoch Times for the officer’s bodycam footage. The department also has not replied to inquiries from The Epoch Times on the circumstances surrounding Boyland’s death.
The medical examiner for the District of Columbia ruled Boyland died from an overdose of a prescription medication. Family members said Boyland was prescribed the drug to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
It’s not known if the autopsy documented any injuries from the beating, or noted evidence from Boyland being crushed. The medical examiner won’t release any information beyond the cause and manner of death. He ruled Boyland’s death was an accident.
“She did nothing. She attacked no one. She didn’t even say anything to anyone,” Anderson said of Boyland. “We’ve got half the country saying Rosanne is a terrorist, she got what she deserved. For what? She didn’t do anything. It’s crazy to me.”