Minnesota woman files $2 million suit for police using ‘excessive’ force in Jan. 6 beating

Victoria Charity White, 42, of Rochester, Minnesota, alleges at least two Metropolitan Police Department officers unlawfully used "deadly force."

Victoria White is jostled and spun around by police in the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Metropolitan Police Department/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

A Minnesota woman beaten by police in the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol has filed a $2 million civil suit for being repeatedly struck in the head and slammed into a concrete wall on Jan. 6, 2021.

Victoria Charity White, 42, of Rochester, Minnesota, alleges at least two Metropolitan Police Department officers unlawfully used “deadly force” by repeatedly striking her head and face with steel riot batons and fists at about 4 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021.

The complaint — filed on March 27 by Washington attorney Paul Kamenar — names MPD Commander Jason Bagshaw and MPD Officer Neil McAllister, and alleges other unnamed officers took part in the beatings.

It alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S. Code § 1983. It is an amended version of a suit White filed representing herself in January.

“The defendants willfully and unlawfully seized plaintiff by means of objectively unreasonable, excessive, and indeed, deadly force that shocks the conscience, thereby unreasonably restraining and depriving plaintiff of her freedom and inflicting physical and mental harm and anguish,” read the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

“Because of the senseless and unlawful beating she received at the hands of the defendants and the other MPD officers, Ms. White suffered great physical, traumatic, and emotional harm that day and continues to suffer to this day, particularly the traumatic and emotional harm,” Kamenar wrote in the lawsuit.

Bagshaw, the suit alleges, “Repeatedly struck an unarmed and defenseless White about her head, face, shoulders, and upper body with a metal baton and his fists.”

He is being sued in his professional and personal capacity, the lawsuit stated.

McAllister “along with defendant Bagshaw and other police officers, physically assaulted the plaintiff,” the suit said.

McAllister is also being sued in his professional and personal capacity.

According to the suit, video evidence shows McAllister “slamming Ms. White up against the concrete tunnel wall, whereupon, inexplicably, his bodycam is shut off for some 30 seconds.”

The department declined to comment on the suit.

“It is the policy of the Metropolitan Police Department to not comment on pending litigation matters,” the department told The Epoch Times in a March 28 email.

‘Deadly force’

The suit lists a litany of violent acts and the effects on White after she entered the Lower West Terrace tunnel.

“Bagshaw reaches over his fellow officers and violently strikes Ms. White in the head with his baton five times in seven seconds,” the suit alleged. “The first blow knocks her MAGA hat off her head.”

In another instance, “Bagshaw moves his way from behind his fellow officers towards Ms. White to get a better striking distance and begins another assault. He spears and pokes White with his baton about the head, neck, and face to inflict maximum pain. Ledge officer sprays mace on Ms. White,” according to the lawsuit.

White did not resist police and would be considered at most a “passive resister” using the MDP Use of Force Framework, the lawsuit said.

Victoria White is spun around by Metropolitan Police Department Officer Neil McAllister while a bystander (R) shouts: “Please don’t beat her.” (Metropolitan Police Department/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Acceptable force with this type of subject would involve “low-level physical tactics to gain control and cooperation,” with techniques that could involve pain but would generally not inflect injury, the MPD policy cited in the suit states.

The suit outlines the beating first documented in The Epoch Times on Dec. 23, 2021, after White’s then-attorney Joseph McBride secured the release of previously sealed security video from the tunnel.

The newspaper’s analysis of the CCTV video showed Ms. White was struck by police 39 times in a little over four minutes.

A series of videos show White suffering rapid fire hits, punches to the head, a baton poked at her head, and being doused with pepper spray.

Bodycam video released in 2023 revealed more information on the beating, including a bystander in the tunnel who begged police to stop striking White.

At 4:09 p.m., the man said: “No, no, no, please! Please don’t beat her,” according to the video. Two minutes later, as police shouted at him to “move it, keep walking!” the man replied, “No! You’re going to kill her!”

At the time of the first lawsuit, McBride said a special prosecutor should be named to investigate the beating.

None of the officers allegedly involved in White’s case has been disciplined or faced criminal charges.

“That is somebody who’s not only acting with authority but is acting with license,” McBride said, referring to Mr. Bagshaw, then an MPD lieutenant.

“That is somebody who is acting because he has no fear that he’s going to be reprimanded for his actions. Do I think that’s criminal? There is no doubt in my mind that what that man did was criminal.”

Jan. 6 defendant Victoria White was pushed, shoved, and beaten about the head by police in the Lower West Terrace tunnel on Jan. 6, 2021. (Metropolitan Police Department/Screenshots via The Epoch Times)

McBride filed suit on White’s behalf on Jan. 5, 2022, but she withdrew the suit in November 2022 to concentrate on defending herself against criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice for her time at the U.S. Capitol.

That initial lawsuit identified seven police officers who allegedly took part in the beating.

White was indicted on Jan. 26, 2022, on four counts, including felony civil disorder.

She accepted a plea deal in August 2023 and was found guilty of the civil disorder charge.

Prosecutors sought a four-month jail term, but U.S. District Judge John D. Bates on Nov. 22, 2023, sentenced White to eight days of intermittent jail time.

White was featured in the July 2022 Epoch Times documentary, “The Real Story of Jan. 6.”

She said the beatings on Jan. 6 gave her flashbacks to a decade of domestic abuse.

“I’ve had those with my ex, where I’d be awake doing something as simple as laundry, and all of a sudden, I’m there, being choked to death and beat or punched,” she said.

“This was the feeling of all that. It was like those blows, but now in the tunnel.”


Joseph M. Hanneman | The Epoch Times

Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the January 6 Capitol incursion and its aftermath, as well as general Wisconsin news. In 2022, he helped to produce "The Real Story of Jan. 6," an Epoch Times documentary about the events that day. Joe has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. He can be reached at: wbfrcu.unaarzna@rcbpugvzrf.hf