As Trump supporters ransacked the US Capitol many on social media condemned the apparent unequal response between the rioters in Washington, DC Wednesday and demonstrators at recent anti-racism protests.
Last year anti-racism protests ignited the country after the deaths and shootings of Black Americans at the hands of police including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Marcellis Stinnette, and Casey Goodson. Protesters were often met with a large police presence, facing armored vehicles, rubber bullets, and teargas.
But on Wednesday afternoon, when rioters, participating in a “March for Trump” rally before Congress gathered to certify the 2020 election results, stormed into the US Capitol building forcing employees, media, and lawmakers to shelter in place and evacuate, many criticized how this breach could happen in the first place.
Former Washington DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey slammed the police response, saying on CNN, “Anybody inside that building … ought to be face down in handcuffs right now.”
“In my experience in 50 years in law enforcement, this is unprecedented,” former Secret Service Director John Magaw told USA Today.
Videos show Trump supporters clashing with police and breaking into the US Capitol building where chaos escalated and a woman was fatally shot. Similar to recent anti-racism and police brutality protests, a citywide 6 p.m. curfew was announced in DC and the National Guard and Virginia National Guard troops were deployed to mediate the turmoil.
Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called on Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol immediately, Trump released a one-minute video telling his supporters to go home. In the video, which was removed by Twitter, Trump furthered his baseless claims that he won the election over President-elect Joe Biden before he told the rioters that they are “very special.”
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” Trump said. “We have to have peace. So go home … we love you, you’re very special.”
The president’s message to rioters starkly differed from his words to protestors around last year’s protests, including a demonstration in DC last summer where people were sprayed with chemical agents.
….And because of weak and pathetic Democrat leadership, this thuggery is happening in other Democrat run cities and states. Must shut them down fast. Biden and his most Liberal in Senate running mate, Kamala, won’t even talk about it. They won’t utter the words, LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2020
Anarchists, Agitators or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it! @DHSgov
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020
Black activists, attornies, authors, and civil rights groups quickly pointed out the different responses met by peaceful demonstrators and people of color.
When BLM protesters marched on DC, no one stormed the Capitol, destroyed public property or overtook police. If Black people had done what these white domestic terrorists did today, they would have been tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, arrested AND charged with felonies — or treason!
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 6, 2021
They’ve killed us for less!
— NAACP (@NAACP) January 6, 2021
My team and I are safe. I am in disbelief. I can’t believe domestic terrorists are roaming around inside the Capitol.
I’m remembering being brutalized and treated like a domestic terrorist just for protesting to keep my people alive.
St. Louis: you’re in my heart right now.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 6, 2021
The day after we watched a complete travesty of justice in the shooting case of #JacobBlake, an unarmed man shot IN THE BACK after attempting to break up an incident, we see ARMED TERRORIST storm the Capitol of the USA with little to no recourse! #ThisIsAmerica pic.twitter.com/Yhw9RGVUOV
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) January 6, 2021
Black Americans are murdered for jogging in white neighborhoods—meanwhile white Trump supporters have just raided THE WHITE HOUSE and everyone is still standing. THIS IS AMERICA
— Elaine Welteroth (@ElaineWelteroth) January 6, 2021
Others called out the inequality of law enforcement response to the rioters who violently breached the Capitol and BLM protesters.
These guys are engaging in hand-to-hand combat with police after storming the US Capitol. In other news, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Rayshard Brooks, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Alton Sterling and Eric Garner are all dead. pic.twitter.com/URn8w3Y88m
— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) January 6, 2021
As a researcher who documented the use of teargas & rubber bullets on BLM protestors this summer in DC, It’s maddening to see the ease with which pro-Trump groups and white supremacists stormed the US Capitol today- w/ reports of firearms, looting, and explosives. #WashingtonDC pic.twitter.com/YxbNp97CLj
— Jasmeet Sidhu (@jasmeetsidhu_dc) January 6, 2021
Trump’s mobs & thugs have made it past police lines. Barricades busted down. Up on the steps of Capitol. Climbing the outside of the building.
Where is the police kettling? The sound-cannons? The flash-grenades? The tear-gas?
All things that were common against BLM protesters? pic.twitter.com/jGaHTdRdY2
— Sunsara Taylor (@SunsaraTaylor) January 6, 2021
As you watch MAGA protestors storm the capitol largely unimpeded, recall that BLM protestors were peacefully outside the White House and Trump had them dispersed with, what turned out to be, tear gas.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) January 6, 2021
The Pentagon has denied the request to deploy the National Guard to the Capitol to deal with the coup/riot that Trump incited.
But this was the scene for BLM protests this summer. https://t.co/bSrKMLmyWf pic.twitter.com/wudYJNiwOf
— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) January 6, 2021
The mere fact that police and national guard aren’t swarming the Capitol right now let’s you know for sure that Trump was at “war” with BLM protestors last year.
Personal political war. Never forget it.
His inaction today speaks volumes.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) January 6, 2021
Just imagine for a second if BLM tried this BS.. Just sayin.
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) January 6, 2021
I saw more arrests during protests in Minneapolis this summer than I have watching people storm the US Capitol.
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) January 6, 2021
A harrowing photo shows a Trump supporter carrying a Confederate flag inside the US Capitol, flanked by portraits of Civil War figures
Pro-Trump rioters gathered outside statehouses and lawmakers’ homes nationwide
Dystopian photo shows Trump rioters clashing with police in front of the US Capitol as night falls in DC
Several groups of extremists stormed the Capitol today. Here are some of the most notable individuals, symbols, and groups present.
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