John Sullivan, videographer and founder of “a group for racial justice and police reform,” posted a video on YouTube on Jan. 7 that shows him entering the Capitol building in Washington with a group of Trump supporters and possibly others on the previous day. He’s heard on video encouraging others and convincing Capitol police to let the trespassers through at several impasses. The video also reveals further details about the situation that led to the death of Ashley Babbitt, an Air Force veteran shot inside the building by Capitol Police.
Sullivan is known for taking part in protests and riots connected with the Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded by Marxist organizers.
In July, he was arrested in Utah for alleged rioting, making a threat of violence, and criminal mischief due to his part in a protest that resulted in the shooting of a motorist.
“As a protest organizer, John Sullivan is heard talking about seeing the shooting, looking at the gun, and seeing smoke coming from it. John did not condemn the attempted murder nor attempt to stop it nor aide in its investigation by police,” the police affidavit said, Desert News reported.
“An armed revolution is the only way to bring about change effectively,” he said in a Dec. 28 tweet.
On Jan. 2, Sullivan wrote in a tweet: “[Expletive] The System – Time To Burn It All Down. #blm #antifa #burn #[expletive]thesystem #abolishcapitalism #abolishthepolice #acab #[expletive]trump.”
Sullivan also uses the moniker “Jayden X” online and is the founder of “Insurgence USA,” which describes itself as started “in 2020 in response to the George Floyd tragedy,” referring to the Minnesota man who died after ingesting a potentially lethal amount of Fentanyl and was then pinned down during an arrest with a police officer kneeling on his neck.
The aim of Insurgence USA is “to empower and uplift black and indigenous voices” and “build local powers to enable the community to intervene in violence enacted by the state and government vigilantes,” the description of its YouTube channel says.
In his graphic video from the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, Sullivan can be heard saying “let’s burn this [expletive] down,” before entering the building.
In response to criticism on Twitter, Sullivan responded by saying he was there only to report and his actions were “part of blending in, so I don’t get beat up.”
But the video shows he was actively helping convince Capitol police officers to let the trespassers through as well as encouraging the trespassers to continue pushing forward.
Shortly after entering the building through a broken window, Sullivan heads down a corridor, but then turns around and walks toward an entrance next to the broken window. A woman holding a camera enters the door and walks toward him. He doesn’t talk to her, turns around, and heads down the corridor again. He will talk to the woman later.
There appeared to be hundreds of people inside, wandering around.
Near the end of the corridor, Sullivan makes a right into another corridor. Several police officers on both sides are moving people along, preventing them from taking another turn. At the end of the corridor, there’s another entrance and several officers ushering people out.
When Sullivan reaches the door, he refuses to leave.
“I’m just recording the situation,” he tells one officer.
“You’ve got to do it from outside. C’mon guys,” the officer says.
The woman is seen keeping close to Sullivan.
“They are already inside, bro. Like, you’re not stopping anything from happening,” he tells the police.
The officers successfully get several more people out and seem to secure the door.
Sullivan manages to stay inside, arguing he can’t go out through this entrance because it’s blocked. The officers try to hold him and a small group of others near the door from going back deeper inside the building, but at one moment people just stream through to the corridor, Sullivan with them.
The group then rejoins the larger crowd inside, weaving their way through the building until reaching the majestic Capitol rotunda, a favorite tourist attraction lined with statues and paintings.
Sullivan sounds ecstatic about the experience.
“I never would have imagined that we would be here,” he says, talking to another man.
The woman then turns to Sullivan saying, “Let me give you a hug now. We did it. You were right. We did it.”
“Dude, I was trying to tell you. I couldn’t say much,” he replies.
There seems to be a short interruption in the video several seconds later.
The woman then says, “You aren’t recording, right?”
“I’ll delete that [expletive] up,” he replies. “But I didn’t record you I mean.”
He then enters another chamber.