The Capitol rioter who was photographed with his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk is now claiming, via his lawyer, inhumane treatment as well as being tortured while being held in the DC jail earlier this year:
DAILY MAIL – The Capitol rioter who put his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk has claimed he was denied medical treatment when he thought he was having a heart attack in jail.
Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett, 61, complained of being ‘tortured’ at the District of Columbia jail, citing alleged incidents where he was slammed head first into the concrete floor and kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.
The allegations were made in an ’emergency request’ by Barnett’s attorney Joseph D. McBride calling on Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union to investigate the treatment and alleged ‘human rights violations’ of Capitol rioters at the jail.
Barnett, from Gravette, Arkansas, was released from jail in April and ordered to stay in home detention pending trial for his part in the January 6 Capitol riot that left five dead.
The 61-year-old was slapped with seven charges including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority with a stun gun.
He was pictured brazenly propping his feet on the desk in Pelosi’s office and leaving her a note allegedly calling her a ‘b**ch’.
Barnett also allegedly stole a letter from the House Speaker’s office before boasting outside the Capitol following the siege that he ‘wrote a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk and scratched my balls’.
In the letter from his attorney, sent August 3, Barnett claims he was denied his civil rights while being held behind bars.
The letter claims he was subjected to ‘various psychological and emotional abuses’ including being beaten by staff, facing threats against his wife, and being forced to live in ‘disgusting unsanitary conditions’.
He was also allegedly subjected to sleep deprivation and was robbed of his belongings.
Barnett says he was denied medical attention when he thought he was having a heart-attack and, in a separate incident, after he fainted and hit his head on the sink, leaving his head bleeding and swollen:
In one alleged incident of torture, Barnett was denied medical help and was laughed at by prison guards when he believed he was having a heart attack.
‘One day, Richard began to feel tightness in his chest, pain in his left arm, and thought that he was having a heart attack, as such, he called for ‘help!” the letter read.
‘A guard came over to his cell, looked at Richard, and then proceeded to mock and laugh at him.’
Barnett was not given medical attention for a ‘significant’ period of time, his lawyer wrote – ‘certainly enough time for him to die’.
When the 61-year-old was returned to his cell still ill and asked staff to check on him, the guard who laughed at him earlier allegedly pounded on his cell door after he had fallen asleep.
‘This startled Richard so badly that he stood up fast, but because he was still not well, he fainted and hit his head on the sink,’ the lawyer wrote.
‘The guard saw this happen and left Richard a second time. Richard woke up with massive swelling and was bleeding from his head.’
Barnett was allegedly left screaming for medical attention for almost an hour until help came.
Held in solitary for 23 hours a day…
On another alleged occasion, a prison guard ‘made a sexually threatening comment’ toward him, the letter reads.
The guard then allegedly called Richard’s wife by her first name and ‘told Richard that he was going to get on a plane to Arkansas where he would sexually assault her as well’.
Barnett was also being held for around 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, with staff using the pandemic to justify the lockdown, his attorney claims.
“Slammed into the concrete floor”
In a third alleged incident, Barnett claims he was slammed into the concrete floor for asking a staff member to wear a mask in compliance with the COVID-19 rules in the jail.
Barnett claims he had asked a staffer to put on a face covering when the guard came near him.
‘That officer responded by verbally abusing and threatening Richard publicly in front of many witnesses, including family members who heard the commotion on the other end of the phones,’ the letter reads.
Barnett returned to his cell and, soon after, a group of around nine officers opened his door and told him to exit his cell, the letter says.
When he put out his hands to be cuffed and said he had done nothing wrong, Barnett claims he was cuffed, shackled, verbally abused and threatened with mace.
Barnett was then allegedly ‘jerked… back and forth with great force.’
The letter says Barnett then objected to the way he was being treated and ‘was lifted off of his feet by his shackles and slammed shoulder and head first into the concrete floor.’
The officers then allegedly charged Barnett with inciting a riot and was held in the hole for weeks up until the day he was released.
What Barnett is describing here sounds horrific. I get that he rioted at the Capitol and all of these rioters should be punished for their actions. But his actions, which were federal trespassing, carrying a stun-gun in a federal building, and stealing something from Pelosi’s office, were rather minimal in terms of actual criminality. You’d think that he was a murderer or rapist with this kind of inhumane treatment.
Also, I’ve seen far more outrage from the media and political establishment regarding treatment of prisoners during the Iraq war at Abu Ghraib than you’ll ever see for these rioters.