Body camera video of San Francisco police officers responding to Paul Pelosi’s 911 call confirms much of an NBC News October report.
NBC News reporter Miguel Almaguer ignited controversy after reporting Pelosi may not have been in immediate danger from David DePape. Almaguer’s report contradicted initial reports about DePape’s unlawful entry into the residence, shared with congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and the suspect’s attack of her husband.
Almaguer’s October report days after the attack went viral but he went into limbo after the network soon retracted his report. NBC executives noted at the time his report did not meet the network’s standards.
After Almaguer’s report aired, he seemed to vanish from NBC News for several weeks although the network never made an on-the-record announcement that he was suspended, according to a Fox News report.
San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy ordered the 911 audiotape, police bodycam video, U.S. Capitol police surveillance footage and SFPD interviews with DePape released. The District Attorney had argued the material should remain secret because publication may lead to disinformation.
DePape’s attorneys claimed the jury pool could be tainted by releasing the records, which could threaten their client’s constitutional right to a fair trial, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
“I don’t think any of the cases are quite like this case with the amount of conspiracy theories already floating out there in this case,” public defender Adam Lipson argued in court. “There’s just been so much information out there, so many false stories published, the spread of the media, from mainstream media to fringe media to internet media to social media, is just so much greater today than even two years ago.”
Murphy’s decision came after a number of media outlets, including Fox News and the LA Times, filed legal action requesting release of the materials surrounding DePape’s arrest.
Almaguer reported SFPD officers seemed unaware they were responding to the residence of then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Responding officers are not heard in the video mentioning Mrs. Pelosi or indicating they knew who lived at the residence.
The NBC News reporter said Paul Pelosi opened the door after police knocked and announced their presence. He “did not immediately declare an emergency or leave his home,” Almaguer reported, which appears true based on the officers’ bodycam footage.
A portion of his report that is inarguably incorrect is Almaguer’s statement that Pelosi walked back several feet towards DePape, away from police. Pelosi, who appeared under duress, appears side-by-side with DePape as the door opened.
The Fox report noted NBC News did not immediately respond if that erroneous account was the justification for retracting Almaguer’s report.
Almaguer’s recounting that “court documents” indicated DePape smiled and told officers “everything’s good” but “instantaneously a struggle ensued as police clearly saw David DePape strike Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer,” was confirmed by bodycam footage.
An NBC News report Wednesday about Murphy’s decision attributed Almaguer as a contributing reporter, at the bottom of the article. If he was suspended, that is no longer the case obviously.
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