San Francisco judge rules that police footage of Paul Pelosi hammer attack must be released

A San Francisco judge on Wednesday ruled that San Francisco police body camera footage from the October 2022 hammer attack against Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, must be made public. 

In his ruling, Judge Stephen Murphy sided with a group of media outlets, including the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times, who sought access to the dramatic footage as well as other evidence against David DePape, the alleged attacker, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

The coalition of media outlets demanded the release of the footage back in December when it was submitted in open court and admitted into evidence at a preliminary hearing. 

Other content the media outlets asked for include Paul Pelosi’s 911 call, US Capitol Police surveillance footage of Pelosi’s home, and DePape’s interview with a San Francisco Police Department investigator in which he discussed the attack.

The charging documents against DePape show that cops witnessed the attack and that it was recorded on officer body cameras. 

David DePape allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer.
AP/ Michael Short

The smashed backyard door of Nancy Pelosi's
A San Francisco judge on Wednesday ruled that police body camera footage must be made public.

“Pelosi and DePape were both holding a hammer with one hand and DePape had his other hand holding onto Pelosi’s forearm. Pelosi greeted the officers,” the documents outlined.

When officers asked both men to drop the hammer “DePape pulled the hammer from Pelosi’s hand and swung it, striking Pelosi in the head,” the documents state.

A spokesperson for the San Francisco Superior Court told the San Francisco Standard that court staff is working to make a copy of the requested exhibits to distribute to an attorney for the news coalition.

Nancy Pelosi was not home during the attack. Allegedly she was DePape’s main target.
AP/ Kevin Wolf

DePape’s attorney objected to Wednesday’s motion, arguing that the release could hinder his client’s ability to get a fair trial.

DePape faces a slew of state and federal charges, including battery, attempted murder, elder abuse and attempted kidnapping of a federal officer stemming from the Oct. 28, 2022, attack.