- Rachel Powell, known as “bullhorn lady” for her participation in the January 6 Capitol riot, seemed to appear in a video at a bookstore wearing a mesh mask.
- As a condition of her release, a judge in February said Powell must wear a face mask when leaving her home.
- It’s unclear if the mesh mask, which doesn’t protect from COVID-19, is a violation of the judge’s order.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Rachel Powell, the Pennsylvania woman known as “bullhorn lady” for using a megaphone during her admitted participation at the January 6 siege at the US Capitol, appeared to be wearing a mesh mask in a video posted by a Pennsylvania bookstore, Law&Crime first reported Friday.
While the March 31 video was posted to Facebook and later deleted by the bookstore, a copy has been re-uploaded to Twitter by HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly. In the video, a woman who appears to be Powell looks into the camera, talking about a book raffle.
“Good morning, everybody, and welcome to Mr. Bookman’s page,” the woman, purportedly Powell, said in the clip. She appears to be wearing a mask with large holes that clearly reveal her nose and mouth.
About eight seconds into the video, the camera is flipped to a woman identified in the video as “Christy.” She is wearing a bright-red “Make America Great Again” hat but is not wearing any type of face mask. The bookstore is located in Franklin, Pennsylvania, where face masks are required to be worn in public places under a state order enacted in November last year.
Insider is unable to confirm that the woman in the video is Powell.
A request for comment to Mr. Bookman to confirm Powell was an employee was not immediately returned Saturday. Michael Engle, Powell’s Philadelphia-based lawyer, likewise did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
As Insider previously reported, in granting her release, Judge Beryl Howell ordered Powell, who before the riot had espoused anti-mask views, to wear a face mask in public “whenever she leaves her residence.”
—Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 9, 2021
Mesh masks are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 but have been sold and worn by individuals attempting to skirt requirements in businesses and in public places where masks are required. It’s unclear whether the apparently ineffective mask would violate the judge’s order.
As The New Yorker reported, Powell in December said in a Facebook post she was “unashamedly a ‘super spreader.'”In another post, she said she would refuse to take a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the report.
As Law&Crime noted, Powell has previously been connected to the bookstore. The Sharon Herald reported in May 2020 that Powell attended a protest against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. Also at the protest outside the Mercer County Courthouse was the bookstore owner, according to the report.
The May report identified Powell as having been furloughed from her job at Cherish Creamery due to the pandemic.
According to The New Yorker, Powell had been barred by the creamery from working certain events because she had refused to follow pandemic restrictions. At the time of the February article from The New Yorker, Powell said she worked part-time at a “local bookstore.”
After the January 6 siege on the Capitol, in which five people died, The Sharon Herald published a photo of Powell from April 2020 at an anti-restriction protest in Mercer County where she spoke from a bullhorn and held a sign that read “the mask is a symbol of our enslavement.”
As Insider previously reported, Powell, a mother of eight, was recorded at the Capitol, seemingly to shout instructions into a bullhorn and directing other rioters.
Prosecutors say she was one of the rioters who used a pipe to break windows on Capitol grounds. She was charged with depredation of government property, entering restricted buildings or grounds with a dangerous weapon, entering restricted buildings or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
In her interview with The New Yorker, Powell acknowledged that photos and videos of the “bullhorn” lady showed her but declined to comment on specific questions about her conduct, like whether she smashed windows or yelled orders to other rioters.
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