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24 Nov, 2021 17:29

Family of Capitol rioter who died by ‘overdose’ demands autopsy review

Family of Capitol rioter who died by ‘overdose’ demands autopsy review

The family of a woman whose death during the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill was ruled a drug overdose is crowdfunding an autopsy review, after Washington, DC police refused to release body camera footage of her final moments.

Rosanne Boyland was 34 when she traveled in January from her home in Georgia to Washington, DC to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. After crowds of Trump supporters took their rowdy protest to the US Capitol, Boyland would later be found dead among them, with her death ruled an amphetamine overdose by the DC medical examiner’s office several months later.

Her family aren’t buying the story, and have launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance a review of her autopsy.

“There are still many questions about exactly what happened to her,” the family wrote on GiveSendGo this month. “Videos show her being beaten by a female officer after being crushed by protesters pushed by police. Yet the DC Medical Examiner said Rosanne's body showed no signs of trauma, and attributed her death to the prescription medication she took every day for years.”

In an update to the campaign posted on Tuesday, they added that Boyland was not abusing amphetamines. Rather she was taking adderall, a prescription drug containing four kinds of amphetamine used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. “The only drugs in Rosanne's body were her prescription medications,” they wrote.

Thousands of hours of video footage – from both surveillance cameras and police body cameras – captured during the Capitol protest remain unreleased, with authorities citing the importance of this footage to ongoing criminal investigations. Boyland’s family filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the DC Metropolitan Police to obtain body camera footage from officers who handled her unconscious body, but their request was denied.

Some of this footage allegedly shows Boyland being carried into a space beneath the House majority leader’s office, where lawyers for other defendants claim that their clients were assaulted by Capitol Police officers. Conservative journalist Julie Kelly reported on the story last week, after seeing legal documents alleging a series of brutal beatings taking place in the tunnels under the Capitol.

Three other protesters died in the Capitol on January 6. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot dead by a Capitol Police officer. Two other Trump supporters in their 50s – Benjamin Philips and Kevin Greeson – died of medical emergencies.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, whose death was initially blamed on the pro-Trump mob, passed away of a stroke the day after the riot.

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