Three Things the Paul Pelosi Bodycam Footage Should Clear Up

After a coalition of media organizations sued for the police bodycam footage and other evidence from the hammer attack against Paul Pelosi last year, a judge in San Francisco ordered the release of the footage and other evidence on Wednesday. Pelosi was attacked in October 2022 by David DePape, an illegal immigrant nudist activist who had been living in a leftist commune, and we’ll soon finally get to see what happened.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has fought against the release of the footage and other evidence in the case, prompting allegations of a coverup — perhaps on behalf of the Pelosi family.

The footage is extremely important, though, because in the early days and weeks after the story broke, a number of bizarre and contradictory details came out, and the public has a right to know what really happened. So, the big question is, what will the footage tell us? Based on the initial reports, there are three key details that the footage should clear up once it’s released.

Who opened the door?

The Department of Justice claimed in its indictment of DePape that it was police officers who opened the door of the Pelosi residence. However, according to the court filing, it was Paul Pelosi who opened the door for police. “DEPAPE stated that they went downstairs to the front door. The police arrived and knocked on the door, and Pelosi ran over and opened it. Pelosi grabbed onto DEPAPE’s hammer, which was in DEPAPE’s hand,” the filing read.

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NBC News suspended reporter Miguel Almaguer for reporting that Pelosi had opened the door before returning to the interior of the house to reengage DePape. However, in November, NBC Bay Area reporter Bigad Shaban reported that a source who viewed the body cam footage confirmed Almaguer’s initial story.

The truth is important because this story makes absolutely no sense. Had Mr. Pelosi been a hostage or otherwise feared for his safety, it seems sensible that when the police arrived, Pelosi, if he were actually in a position to open the door, would have run out to safety rather than open it and reengaged with DePape, who had a hammer and was going to attack him with it. If Pelosi is confirmed to have opened the door and reengaged DePape, it will raise serious questions about the incident.

Was there a third individual?

A home invasion story should be rather straightforward for police to document, yet it seemed like so many details that came out originally were ambiguous, which, given the high-profile nature of the victim, raised questions. That so many outlets were reporting things that later needed clarification contributed to this. One detail in particular that raised confusion was an ambiguous line from a Politico report that indicated that officers who arrived “were let inside by an unknown person.” It is not clear who the unknown person is, but it sounded like it was neither the suspect nor the victim.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott explained in a press conference that when responding officers arrived at the house, they “knocked on the front door of the residence” and “the door was opened by someone inside, and the officers observed through the open door Mr. Pelosi and the suspect Mr. DePape inside the entryway of the home.”  This account once again suggested that the door was opened by a third, as yet unidentified individual.

Was Pelosi’s attacker in his underwear?

There were a lot of theories about “what really happened” when the attack story first came out. One salacious theory suggested that there was a secret relationship between Mr. Pelosi and DePape and that the Pelosis have exploited their connections to cover this up. This theory was largely due to an early report that DePape was wearing nothing but his underwear when police arrived on the scene — though KTVU, the local FOX affiliate in San Francisco, later retracted that claim. If we see that DePape was fully dressed, it may finally put to rest some of the salacious theories.

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