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US: Laser pointers used in Jan. 6 Capitol attack?
The relevant paragraph states: "D.C. police said Monday [Jan. 11] that one District officer remained hospitalized. They described many of the injuries as sprains and bruised arms and legs, but many others appear far more serious and caused by repeated blows from sticks, poles and clubs and laser pointers shined into officers’ eyes."
From the Washington Post
COMMENTARY FROM LASERPOINTERSAFETY.COM
Besides this one reference, LaserPointerSafety.com has not been able to find any other account or claim of laser pointer misuse during the Capitol attack.
There are videos of a rioter aiming a bright handheld spotlight at officers. We do not know if these are Capitol Police, or D.C. police called in to assist.
In the top screenshot, it appears an officer at the right side of the doorway is aiming a similar spotlight out towards the rioters. At bottom center is the only protester we have found with a light.
Click on either photo for link to original video
The bottom screenshot, from a video by Brendan Gutenschwager (@bgonthescene - Twitter) shows the spotlight. Despite the bright yellow sticker, after extensive searching we have not been able to find the model of the spotlight. Here is one that is similar:
It is not known if the rioter's spotlight was misidentified as a laser pointer, or whether there were laser pointers used elsewhere.
In extensive viewing of footage taken inside and outside the Capitol during the event, we have not been able to spot any laser light or other signs of pointer usage.
The riot took place during daylight hours, when laser pointers typically are not used during protests. There was a 6 pm curfew, enforced by D.C. police and other officers. It may be that pointers were used at dusk or after sunset which was at 5:02 pm that day.
In conclusion, if there was any laser pointer misuse at during the U.S. Capitol riot, it appears to be minor or inconsequential (or non-existent) compared with misuse at U.S. protests earlier in the summer.
For more information: We have listings of LaserPointerSafety.com stories tagged "protester", "riots", and "arrests at protest." We also have a page about Laser use during protests.