On Thursday, CNN reported that friends and family of an accused Capitol rioter are insisting to a federal judge that when he was caught on video dragging a police officer on the ground, he was just trying to "help" the officer.
"Kentucky resident Clayton Mullins was charged with eight crimes tied to the incident, where an officer was dragged into the crowd and viciously beaten, leading to a tug-of-war between the pro-Trump rioters and other officers who tried to pull their colleague back to safety," reported Marshall Cohen. "Mullins is accused of dragging the officer into the mob and shoving another who was trying to save him. Mullins has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers say he was 'trying to rescue' the officer that he dragged."
One friend of Mullins, Illinois State Polis Sergeant Carroll Graham, wrote to the judge, "I have reviewed the video ... from my knowledge and knowing Clayton personally, it appears to me that he is trying to keep the 'MOB' from dragging the officer out of view. I believe if Clayton hadn't held on to the Officer's leg that Officer may not be with us today." Patricia and Bobby Rohrer, Mullins' in-laws, agreed, saying he was "always helping people an[d] that was what he was doing on January 6th ... I pray you will take a close look at this mess. You will see Clayton was helping the man. This is the way he is!"
Videos from the January 6 assault on the Capitol show numerous participants assaulting police officers, including with skateboards and flagpoles. Ironically, many of the Capitol rioters have ties to law enforcement themselves, owing to decades-long efforts by white supremacists and other extremists to embed members within their ranks.