House GOP demands answers on alleged attack on detained J6er by prison guard in 2022

"An altercation occurred between Mr. McAbee and Lieutenant Crystal Lancaster, a DOC employee, that resulted in the discharge of chemical munitions in McAbee's face."

GOP Representatives Jim Jordan and Troy Nehls have opened an investigation into the alleged attack of a J6 defendant who was pepper sprayed in the face by a Washington DC corrections officer. 

A letter released by Jordan and Nehls stated in a letter to DC Department of Corrections Director Thomas Faust, "The Committee on the Judiciary is conducting oversight of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections' (DOC) decision to withhold information pertaining to a defendant housed in your facility." Ronald McAbee, who was arrested over charges from J6, was allegedly pepper sprayed by an officer during his time in jail against policy. 

Nehls reportedly made several requests for information about the incident where "on September 5, 2022, an altercation occurred between Mr. McAbee and Lieutenant Crystal Lancaster, a DOC employee, that resulted in the discharge of chemical munitions in McAbee's face." The letter said that according to an account of the incident, the use of force was against the DOC policy. The Epoch Times reported that he was sprayed for not immediately putting on his mask when told when Lancaster yelled at him to do so when he was taking his medication. 

After some back and forth with the Metropolitan Police Department and with the DOC, Nehls sent in a FOIA request for the footage, the DOC said that the footage would be turned over but later reversed the decision to release the footage. 

"The DOC later retracted that promise, claiming there had been a 'miscommunication' and that the footage would not be disclosed. On May 22, 2023, Representative Nehls appealed the FOIA decision." The FOIA request was upheld by the Executive Office of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

"Representative Nehls again sought information and answers regarding the incident concerning Mr. McAbee, explaining his multiple attempts to access the footage and his continued concerns surrounding the repeated denials to view the footage" during an oversight committee hearing with Director Ronald Davis of the US Marshall Service, the letter stated.

Davis made a commitment that the footage would be turned over; however, this promise was once again not fulfilled by the agency.

The lawmakers are seeking the body camera footage of Lancaster from September 5, 2022 between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm, all documentation relating to Nehls’ request to obtain the footage, documentation related to the investigation of the incident, and information related to any disciplinary actions taken against Lancaster during her time at DOC.

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