Voices of Webster: Editorial–Capitol riot shows inequity of police response

A pro-Trump mob enters the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images/Tribune News Service

History was made on Jan. 6, with the attack of the United States Capitol, the situation showing the differences between White and Black America.

The angry mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, upon his directions, stormed the nation’s capitol and forced their way inside. The violent mob was able to make its way into the government building with little to no trouble, police even taking selfies with rioters.

Videos and images from the event quickly went viral over social media, one video in particular of a woman who claimed she was maced quickly picked up traction. 

In the video, she stated, “I got maced. I made it like a foot inside, and they pushed me out, and they maced me… my name is Elizabeth. I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee.” About why she was trying to get into the Capitol, she responded, “We’re storming the Capitol; it’s a revolution.” 

One could speculate the irony in the entire situation. Elizabeth seemed to be shocked that police had maced her for storming one of the most important governmental buildings in the United States. 

The rioters of the Capitol were met with little to no resistance initially, swarms of individuals being able to fully infiltrate the building. Many have compared the event to the Black Lives Matter marches and protests that took place during the summer, protests that were met with large and violent amounts of police interference.    

At numerous BLM marches, protestors fighting against oppression and seeking equality were met with tear gas and rubber bullets. According to theguardian.com, as of October 2020, nearly 1,000 instances of police brutality cases were recorded in anti racism protests.

During the protests, numerous videos of police using tear gas and firing rubber bullets on crowds that were standing holding signs or kneeling went viral, one such example being an incident that took place at the plaza between St. John’s Church and Lafayette Park. Demonstrators were nonviolently protesting police brutality when the police and National Guard used tear gas, pushing the protesters out of the way. Interestingly enough, it turned out that the reason they were cleared in such a way with no warning was because Trump was coming for a photo opportunity at the church.

More force was used against this nonviolent crowd of peaceful protesters than was used against the entire swarm of Trump supporters who raided the Capitol that was full of government officials and information.

According to the New York Times, “At least 100 law enforcement agencies. . . used some form of tear gas against civilians protesting police brutality and racism” as of June 2020. 

The hypocrisy in everything going on is the simple fact that many Americans who attended these nonviolent protests for the Black Lives Matter movement know that had the raid at the capitol been orchestrated by BLM or any other minority driven group, they would have been met with far more casualties. 

The fact that the list of casualties was so few for the capital raid shows the double standard and illustrates the way that marginalized groups will likely never get away with as much as the majority. 

This week’s ECHO Podcast is introduced by former feature/entertainment editor Emily Stisser, outro’d by former print editor Lindsey Bennett, and was edited by podcast editor Lydia Urice. 

Editor-in-Chief Jaden Fields shares how the police response to the Capitol riot shows inequity in the system.

Intro music from https://filmmusic.io
“Beauty Flow” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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