Judge orders DA to release body cam footage of Paul Pelosi attack

by Jacob Fuller

Trey Paul, FISM News 

After a drawn-out effort to learn more about what happened the night Paul Pelosi was attacked at his home last October, a San Francisco judge ruled on Wednesday that the police body camera footage taken that night must be made public.

A coalition of news organizations is set to gain access to that footage Thursday after filing a court motion in San Francisco seeking access to evidence against the man charged in last year’s attack.

As FISM News reported, David Wayne DePape is accused of breaking into the San Francisco home of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then, after demanding to see her, hitting her 82-year-old husband, Paul, in the head with a hammer. DePape pleaded not guilty to a slew of state and federal charges and denied all allegations.

A San Francisco police officer testified in December that he witnessed the October attack. During a court hearing, prosecutors played portions of Pelosi’s 911 call and footage from Capitol police surveillance cameras, body cameras worn by the two police officers who arrived at the house, and video from DePape’s interview with police, but the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office refused to release any of that to the news media.

In a motion filed this month, attorneys for the media coalition said that “the public and press have standing to assert their rights of access to court records and proceedings.”

One of those attorneys, Thomas R. Burke, later said the judge in the case ruled there was no reason to keep the footage secret, especially after prosecutors played it in the open during a December court hearing.

The timing of the alleged attack, which happened days before the 2022 midterm elections, prompted speculation from the public.

Some neighbors say DePape was a homeless drug addict who has a contradictory political history because of his support of both extremes of the political spectrum.

“The motive for this attack is still being determined,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. Despite that statement, Democratic politicians attempted to smear Republicans by claiming they incited violence against their opponents.

Several Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence, offered condolences and called for the assailant to be prosecuted to the “fullest extent of the law.”

Then House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the attack “wrong” and condemned all political violence.

At one point, the district attorney’s office claimed that releasing the footage to the public would allow people to manipulate it in their quest to spread false information.

“You don’t eliminate the public right of access just because of concerns about conspiracy theories,” Burke said.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel blamed the attack on soft crime policies tied to Democrat-run cities.

“If this weren’t Paul Pelosi, this criminal would probably be out on the street tomorrow. This is what Democrat policies are bringing,” McDaniel said in an interview with Fox News.

McDaniel pushed back on Democrats with regard to political violence.

“I think this is a deranged individual. You can’t say people saying let’s fire Pelosi or let’s take back the House is saying go do violence. It’s just unfair,” she said. “And I think we all need to recognize that violence is up across the board. Lee Zeldin was attacked. We had an assassination attempt against Brett Kavanaugh and Democrats didn’t refute, you know, didn’t repudiate that. Joe Biden didn’t talk about the assassination attempt against Brett Kavanaugh.”

FISM News reported DePape waived his right to a speedy trial and his next court date will be Feb. 23, 2023, to set a date for a jury trial. Investigators say he is an illegal immigrant from Canada and first entered the U.S. through Mexico in 2008.