A televised insurrection: AP video documents Jan. 6 riot

Rioters try to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Rioters try to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Jan. 6 riot was an insurrection with a 360-degree view.

Ample evidence has emerged over the last year of what happened at the U.S. Capitol. From television footage to cell phone videos to body cameras worn by the officers under siege, there is a remarkably comprehensive record of one of the worst attacks on democracy in U.S. history.

The Associated Press compiled a short film of the day’s key moments to capture the record and rebut falsehoods that continue to spread about what happened.

The riot was preceded by the “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House featuring President Donald Trump. Before Trump’s remarks, a flag was seen flying in the crowd with the message, “When Tyranny Becomes Law Rebellion Becomes DUTY!”

“And we fight,” Trump told the crowd. “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

That rhetoric presaged an unthinkable episode of political violence that briefly disrupted America’s peaceful transfer of power.

Crowds marched to the Capitol and fought through undermanned lines of police who lacked guidance from their superiors or help from the National Guard. The rioters broke into the building and began searching for lawmakers, forcing evacuations of the House and Senate.

In the crowd were members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and other extremist groups. Some of the rioters had served in the military or law enforcement. A handful were active police officers.

Hundreds were injured and five people died during and after the insurrection.

The Capitol was declared secure at 8 p.m. Lawmakers convened again and certified that Trump had lost to Joe Biden.

Videos from Jan. 6 helped quickly disprove claims that left-wing anarchists staged the riot. The rioters were there to support Trump, as many have subsequently said in court.

Long before the riot Trump baselessly questioned the integrity of the 2020 U.S. election, which was certified as fair by the courts and by officials he appointed. It was Trump’s lies about a stolen election that motivated the rioters and fueled the insurrection.


Associated Press writer Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report.