John Steven Anderson was a Marine Corps and Florida Army National Guard’s 3/20th Special Forces Group Veteran. He was 61 years old. He had been arrested in February, accused of eight counts of civil disorder, assaulting police, theft of government property, and entering a restricted building or grounds. None of those charges were true or valid, according to his defense attorney Marina Medvin. Now he’s dead.
It is with a heavy heart that I write these words. My client, John Anderson, a kind man I have gotten to know and care about over this past year, has passed away…
We have not been at liberty to publicly discuss the case and his defense before our trial date, per court rules. John’s hope and agony over this past year have been trying to clear his name. This hope lives on past his untimely demise. It remains my hope and the hope of his family.
Attorney Marina Medvin
John didn’t deserve what he had to endure before his death. pic.twitter.com/ILTDjJAmI3
— Marina Medvin ?? (@MarinaMedvin) September 25, 2021
During the assault on police in the Capitol tunnel, John Steven Anderson was exposed to chemical irritants and begun suffering respiratory distress. Police assisted him in getting through the line of law enforcement to medical aid. No indication at this time his death is related. pic.twitter.com/FuerXlgw8f
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) September 24, 2021
None of the “evidence” shows Anderson assaulting any officer
DC Metro Police assisted John Stephen Anderson during the riot, because he was overcome by the pepper spray being used by both sides. He credited them with saving his life with medical attention. But at the time, a supervisor told the MPD to cite him for unlawful entry. He was released with the misdemeanor citation. Note that according to his defense attorney, he was taken into the Capitol by the police themselves.
Of note, John Anderson never entered the Capitol building on his own accord. Mr. Anderson was brought into the building by the MPD officers who were rendering medical aid to him.
But corrupt FBI agents chose to have him indicted based on a totally biased review of videos taken during the melee.
Five weeks later, the DOJ decided to take over the case and charge Anderson under federal law as part of the Jan. 6 investigation. “They arrested John by hunting him down during his 5 AM outdoor exercise routine that he did every morning with his wife, throwing him down on the pavement,” Medvin says of the arrest. “(This was after I offered simple self-surrender to feds, offering to turn him in civilly to save the government resources and risk. My request was declined.”
All of a suden (sic), Anderson was accused of felonious conduct: stealing two police shields, “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers,” and “civil disorder,” in addition to the typical four misdemeanor charges the federal government has levied against all of the Jan. 6 defendants.
“We were shocked by the new allegations,” Medvin says. Anderson swore that he did none of the accusations. “I never hurt anybody, Marina,” he told Medvin. “I was there for a protest. Why would they say I did these things if they know that isn’t true? Ask them to check their cameras. I didn’t do any of this.”
Anderson insisted he was there for the protest, recording the events. “I didn’t attack any officers. I didn’t hurt anyone. Someone sprayed me,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t breathe, and I begged the officers for help. And I thank God every day that they helped me. They saved my life.”
The charging document was written by an FBI agent whose name was redacted. The accusations were erroneous and could have easily been proven by the footage they used to create the charges. But noting from the charging document, the FBI agents used the most biased language possible to make it seem like Mr. Anderson was one of the violent in the crowd. He was not. Instead, from the photos included in the charging document, it appears that Anderson was pressed into a crowd where he had little freedom of movement. The ‘big bad insurrectionist’ was a man who had trouble breathing and needed the assistance of police officers. He was surrounded by police the entire time he was in the building, and there is no evidence whatsoever of him assaulting an officer of any agency.
Federal prosecutors assured Medvin that authorities had video evidence that would reveal the felonious conduce, advising that footage will show Anderson making his way to the front of the police line “where he had to be chemically sprayed by police after being disorderly and taking a shield, and that he required medical aid only after this negative interaction with law enforcement.”
“We know now that none of that is accurate. The videos that were provided by the government to the defense, from which we obtained the screen-shots shown supra, clear John’s name,” Medvin fires back.
Medvin states that Anderson was truthful: “John did not approach the police line to be disorderly or combative but to seek police assistance. John Anderson never hurt or touched a single police officer. The video evidence proves this.”
CCTV video shows that after Anderson was sprayed in the face, the crowd was passing a shield over his head and he pushed it past his head, Medvin says. As for the second shield, Anderson held a shield, which was also being passed around the tunnel, and clung to it as he was protecting his face from the noxious gasses that were being sprayed into the tunnel—after peeling himself off the floor following his initial collapse from the gassing, Medvin states. “He never charged anyone with a shield. He clung to the shield as he was squinting his eye shut; that’s what the video shows. These were the bases of the two police shield ‘theft’ accusations.”
Here’s an other issue: the shields in question were owned by Metro police, not federal police. So how can the FBI be the charging agency on a theft of federal property? The entire situation was a false scenario that left a good man, a Marine Corps veteran, facing several federal charges.
”I will not say that I did something I didn’t do,” was Anderson’s position. “We believed that the government was continuing to ignore the complete picture of what happened…Unfortunately, he didn’t get his chance to see it through. John wanted to tell the world that he was a good, conservative man. That he respected police and would never hurt an officer. John wanted America to know that he was there for a protest and that he didn’t commit any violent act.
May John Steven Anderson rest in peace and tranquility. May his family find comfort and finality in knowing that John was genuinely innocent of the serious charges of which he was accused before his death. May America know that John Anderson died a wrongfully accused man who maintained his innocence to his last day.
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