Retired cop's lawyers to try out a 'novel defense' in Jan. 6 trial
DOJ video screenshot

Lawyers for a retired NYPD officer and former Marine will attempt to keep their client out of prison for allegedly striking Capitol police officers with a metal pole and then tackling another one by trying to convince jurors that he was acting in self-defense as he took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

According to the Associated Press, Capitol riot participants who have faced juries have not fared well, so attorneys for Thomas Webster -- who spent 20 years in law enforcement -- will deploy what reporter Michael Kunzelman labeled a "novel defense."

Webster has been charged with assaulting police officers with a deadly weapon, obstruction of law enforcement, entering a restricted area, disorderly conduct in a restricted area, engaging in physical violence in that restricted space area and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

In video taken during the Capitol riot (which can be seen below), Webster is seen hitting Capitol cops with a flag pole bearing a U.S. Marines flag before storming through a barricade and tackling an officer trying to stop him. According to federal prosecutors, Webster called the Capitol officer a "commie motherf*cker,” with the DOJ characterizing his attack to that of a "junkyard dog."

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According to the Associated Press report, Webster "has claimed he was acting in self-defense when he tackled a police officer who was trying to protect the Capitol from a mob on Jan. 6, 2021. Webster's lawyer also has argued that he was exercising his First Amendment free speech rights when he shouted profanities at police that day."

The report adds, "Webster brought a gun and a Marine Corps flag attached to a metal pole when he traveled alone to Washington from his home in Florida, New York, a village approximately 70 miles northwest of New York City. He wore his NYPD-issued bulletproof vest but says he left the pistol in his hotel room when he headed to the Jan. 6 rally where Trump spoke."

In a written statement, the officer who was attacked explained, "He pushed me to the ground and attempted to violently tear away my gas mask and ballistic helmet. This caused me to choke and gasp for air before another participant at the riot helped me to my feet.”

In a court filing, Webster's attorney disputed that account, claiming the unnamed officer gestured toward his client, “inviting him to engage in a fight,” and then punched him first , adding that Webster "used that amount of force he reasonably believed necessary to protect himself" by tackling the officer.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who will oversee Webster's trial, has already stated there is no video of evidence of the Capitol cop throwing the first punch.

Webster will be the first defendant appearing before a jury who has been accused of assault.

You can watch video of Webster on Jan. 6 below:

New Body Cam Footage Shows Ex-NYPD Cop Allegedly Attack Capitol Police Officer | NBC New York youtu.be