How Pro-Trump Rioter Rosanne Boyland Died During the Capitol Attacks

The Four Percent


Rosanne Boyland, a 34-year-old Trump supporter from Georgia who died during the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, appears to have been killed in a crush of fellow rioters during their attempt to fight through a police line, according to videos reviewed by The Times.

Though the videos have circulated widely, Ms. Boyland’s presence in them had gone unnoticed until now, and the manner of her death had previously been unclear. The videos show her body on the ground just outside a door on the Capitol’s west side that was the scene of some of the day’s worst violence.

Her clothes and backpack strap in the videos match those she was seen wearing in a picture of her taken earlier that day, and two witnesses, one of whom tried to help her, gave similar accounts of her death.

Here is how the fatal rush unfolded.

Around 2:30 p.m., rioters on the west side of the Capitol forced their way through lines of Metropolitan Police officers and swarmed to a second-level promenade. There, they headed toward a door and tunnel traditionally used by presidents when they emerge for their inauguration, hoping to breach the Capitol.

As soon as the crowd entered the tunnel, they were met by a line of riot police. Even as they began to push, a rioter could be heard on video warning: “Stop pushing, somebody’s going to get hurt.”

At 4:09 p.m., the mob can be seen making another push into the doorway. Less than a minute later, the police pushed back, and the mob can be seen tumbling out of the door and down the steps. Mr. Winchell, in a bright blue hooded sweatshirt, is just visible at the top of the steps.

For the next seven minutes, he can be seen pulling people away, appearing to search for Ms. Boyland as rioters continue to tumble out of the door. There is a lull in the fighting, and the crowd chants “I can’t breathe!” — a rallying cry of Black Lives Matter protests.

It is unclear from the videos if Ms. Boyland was alive at this time, but two rioters — one wielding a stick and the other a crutch — launched a new attack on the police at 4:17 p.m., making it virtually impossible for officers to give her aid, if they were able to notice her at all.

Boyland is visible in a video lying on her side in front of the door, her black hooded sweatshirt, arm and face partially visible, as men clash with police above her.

In the chaos, two men spotted Ms. Boyland on the ground and dragged her away from the door.

The men laid Ms. Boyland out on the steps and attempted to resuscitate her. At least two individuals can be seen on video providing CPR. At the top of the steps, another man, wearing a purple jacket, can be seen apparently negotiating with the police so that the rioters can get Ms. Boyland assistance.

Roughly two and a half minutes after she was pulled away from the door, the men carried Ms. Boyland back to the police line, even as other rioters continued to throw poles and other objects at the officers.

In social media posts, Lang blamed the police for the stampede and shared images of himself participating in the fight at the door. Police and F.B.I. agents arrested Lang from his home in Newburgh, N.Y., on January 16.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, paramedics who responded to a call regarding a medical emergency at the Capitol arrived to find two Capitol Police officers in the Rotunda performing CPR on Ms. Boyland, who the officers said had collapsed in the protest. The Metropolitan Police declined to confirm whether the woman in the videos was Ms. Boyland, but said she was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 6:09 p.m. The chief medical examiner of Washington, D.C., said Boyland’s cause and manner of death are “pending”.

Mr. Winchell did not respond to a request for comment. After this story first published, Ms. Boyland’s sister told a Times reporter via text message she was glad to have some answers, but that she is now “left with more questions,” such as why her sister had gotten so close to the violence.

The day after Ms. Boyland’s death, her brother-in-law told reporters that he held President Trump responsible.

“Rosanne was really passionate about her beliefs, like a lot of people are,” he said. “I’ve never tried to be a political person, but it’s my own personal belief that the president’s words incited a riot that killed four of his biggest fans last night.”

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting. Christina Kelso contributed production.


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