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Internal police probe finds beating of a Trump supporter who died 'objectively reasonable,' report

Conclusion reportedly comes from correspondence between MPD's internal affairs and person who filed police brutality complaint

Published: February 10, 2022 10:34am

Updated: February 10, 2022 4:03pm

An internal investigation of the Metropolitan Police Department has reportedly found the beating of an unconscious Trump supporter by an officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to be "objectively reasonable."

The probe was conducted by the Washington, D.C., police force's Bureau of Internal Affairs and concluded Rosanne Boyland of Kennesaw, Ga., was already unconscious when an officer struck her with a steel baton and a large wooden stick during the chaos that occurred on January 6, 2021, according to a report from the Epoch Times.

Video of the incident shows Boyland, 34, was trapped under a pile of protesters who were attempting to flee the West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol when law enforcement deployed gas to control the crowd.

Witnesses to the scene say Boyland fell unconscious after being crushed under the weight of other protesters and for a time stopped breathing.

Video footage reportedly taken after Boyland fell unconscious shows D.C. Metro Police Officer Lila Morris beating Boyland with a steel baton and what appeared to be a wooden walking stick.

Morris can be seen on bodycam footage picking up either a walking stick or tree branch, raising the object over her head and striking Boyland several times in quick succession before being pulled back by other officers.

Boyland's friend, Justin Winchell, who had traveled with her to the capital that day, cried out for police and protesters to help.

"She’s gonna die! She’s gonna die!" Winchell pleaded. "I need somebody! She’s dead!"

Boyland was pronounced dead about 90 minutes later, though her body appeared lifeless when law enforcement figures removed her from the West Terrace tunnel at about 4:30 p.m. that day.

According to the report, protesters attempted to deliver CPR to Boyland and were visibly frustrated by the police beatings and pepper spraying people.

Testimony delivered to a congressional committee indicated that police attempted to administer CPR to Boyland at 4:26 p.m. However, the investigation report states at that time Boyland was still lying on the concrete outside the Capitol building being given CPR by two protesters. 

The D.C. medical examiner determined that Boyland died of an accidental overdose of Adderall, an explanation that her friends and family have not accepted. Boyland's father says his late daughter had been taking the prescription medication for a decade.

Gary McBride, of Decatur, Texas, several months ago filed a police brutality complaint with MDP in connection with the incident.

During correspondence with the department, McBride was told by the director of the Risk Management Division of the MPD Internal Affairs Bureau that "use of force within this investigation was determined to be objectively reasonable." 

"Officer Morris is still employed with the MPD and not facing criminal charges related to the use of force on January 6," Capt. David Augustine, the director, also told McBride.

Following the Capitol riot, Morris was hailed as a hero and traveled to the Super Bowl LIV in Tampa as a guest of honor.

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