January 6 defendant claims self-defense in police assault case – ZellaNews

Thomas Webster, a 56-12 months-previous Marine Corps veteran and retired police officer from the New York Police Department who faces six fees for his actions that day, instructed the jury Thursday that he was making an attempt to defend himself in opposition to a “rogue” cop who assaulted him first and that he solely grabbed the officer’s fuel masks after tackling the officer so he “might see my palms.”

The defendant mentioned he was initially conflicted about attending the “Stop the Steal” rally and located the speeches unimpressive, including that he went as much as the entrance of the US Capitol after seeing folks strolling away with accidents, telling the jury he was “programmed” to assist in these situations.

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According to Webster, he solely tackled the officer, Noah Rathbun, after Rathbun taunted him to return throughout the fence line for a battle and punched him in the top. The hit, Webster mentioned, was “like getting hit with a hammer,” including that he began seeing stars and was scared.

Webster’s telling of the occasion ran in nearly full contradiction to officer Rathbun’s testimony Wednesday. According to Rathbun, it was Webster who taunted him to battle, yelling for the officer to “take my shit off,” Rathbun testified. The officer additionally says he by no means punched Webster and solely “made contact by the way together with his face” after Webster continued to push in opposition to the steel fence separating the rioters and police.

After the contact, Webster says he swung his flagpole on the steel fence to chase away Rathbun. “I used to be seeing stars,” Webster testified.

According to Webster, Rathbun then separated the fencing. “He’s coming after me,” Webster testified pondering on the time, “I’m afraid. He’s gone rogue.”

He then ran at Rathbun and the officer “type of fell down,” Webster mentioned, including that he “grabbed the filter” of Rathbun’s fuel masks “and simply pushed up.”

“I simply needed him to see my palms,” Webster testified. “It was scary … he was combating again.”

It was right here that Rathbun testified he “was not in a position to breathe” as a result of Webster was pulling his chin strap up into his neck.

“He knocked me down … grabbed my helmet and began pulling me,” Rathbun mentioned Wednesday.

Webster will proceed his testimony Friday morning with Judge Amit Mehta presiding.

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