To the Editor:
I just read the account of how Roseanne Boyland, a Trump supporter from Georgia, was trampled to death in the Capitol riot Jan. 6. My heart goes out to her loved ones and all those who never intended their actions to lead to violence and death.
Boyland had been a drug-user who fought her addictions and cleaned up her life. Then she fell prey to the influence of conspiracy theories. Family members report that she embraced the baseless QAnon mythology. She believed the lies about Democrats stealing an election from Donald Trump.
When family begged Roseanne not to go to D.C., she promised to stay on the sidelines of the protest. She had no intention of committing violent acts — just wanted to show her support for Trump. Instead, she got caught up in the crowd that pressed into a narrow, tunnel-like entrance on the second-level, west promenade, of the Capitol building.
This is where police mounted a line of defense while, inside, evacuation of the vice president and Congress members had barely begun. Urgent requests went out for National Guard support. By now, most Americans have seen footage of the mob dragging officers down an outer stairway and beating them with crutches, flag poles and hockey sticks. No shots were fired in this melee, but police and rioters alike discharged tear gas and chemical irritants.
It’s believed Boyland lost consciousness in the crush of the mob. Her friend who was on the scene states that at least two people fell on top of her. Others continued climbing over them in their fight to enter the building. The friend struggled amid this chaos to pull Boyland to safety. Several of those present have confirmed seeing a woman trampled. One said he checked her pulse and believed she was dead.
When police were able to access Boyland’s body, they attempted to administer CPR to no avail. Despite the best efforts of a few good people, the riot that killed her continued on all sides.
She was 34 years old.
If there ever was a testimonial to the dire effects of Trump’s bogus claim to a “landslide election … stolen from us,” it is this tragic death. Peddlers of false conspiracies have blood on their hands. Those who steep themselves in the Kool-Aid of political resentment should consider this outcome.