A defendant in the January 6th Capitol riot has passed away while awaiting trial. John Steven Anderson, 61, passed away while waiting to clear his name in court after being given medical assistance in the Capitol by Capitol Police officers and then being charged. Anderson’s attorney, Marina Medvin, said that Anderson who was a veteran of the Marine Corps and Florida Army National Guard’s 3/20th Special Forces Group was indicted on eight counts in connection to the riot. However, the circumstances around the charges made it more difficult as Anderson claimed that he never willfully entered the Capitol building on his own and instead was pushed in by unruly crowds and then later had to receive medical assistance.
The Post Millennial reports:
As the crowd moved closer to the Capitol tunnel entrance, Anderson followed along. Some younger male members of the crowd grew more agitated, more aggressive, and started attacking the officer line guarding the Capitol. The group began pushing the Trump protestors forwards, barking orders at the peaceful Trump supporters, “like military commanders,” Anderson described to Medvin.
A man aimed chemical spray towards the officers. In between the cops and the assailant stood Anderson, who had a heart condition, allergies, and
asthma. The spray hit Anderson directly in the face, Medvin states.
The officers responded, further filling the tunnel with chemical spray gasses.
With nowhere to escape a tunnel abundant with chemical spray, Anderson went from coughing to collapsing in just minutes, Medvin narrates.
“They saved my life,” Anderson said about the officers who brought him into the Capitol to give medical assistance. Medvin said he was extremely grateful to the officers who helped him.
In charging documents filed in DC District Court, the Justice Department argues bodyworn camera footage shows Anderson wielding a police riot shield at the front of a line of rioters attempting to push through a line of law enforcement in the Capitol tunnel. During the melee in the tunnel, Anderson was exposed to chemical irritants and began suffering respiratory distress. Surveillance footage shows officers assisting Anderson in moving through the police line to receive aid.