Congressman accuses US Capitol Police of being ‘complicit’ in rioters entering Capitol Building
“At best they were overwhelmed and did not anticipate. … At worst, they let this protest proceed unlike any other,” Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper said. (WUSA)
“Some people are worried today that some police were complicit with the protesters,” Cooper said. “It’s one thing to be friendly and to de-escalate the violence. But it’s one thing to take selfies with them (rioters) and let them go through the lines.”
Guardian: While images and videos of Capitol police pointing their guns and running around the building were shared, many more images of the Trump-supporting mob successfully overtaking the building, including sitting at the front of the Senate and walking away with a podium, spread on Twitter.
— Anthony Davis (@theanthonydavis) January 6, 2021
This coup attempt was a blatant and dangerous display of white privilege. It was also domestic terrorism. We need to call this attack our for what it was. New from @heathergtv. pic.twitter.com/nCMxqFYJfA
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) January 7, 2021
People were quick to point out the hypocrisy of law enforcement letting the mob, which was overwhelmingly White, take over the Capitol building with little hindrance.
“Always interesting to see how white protestors can encounter so little resistance and breach the capitol with the vice-president there, while black protestors would be lying dead in front of the capitol building right now,” wrote the writer Roxane Gay.
“White privilege is on display like never before in the US Capitol,” tweeted the author and scholar Ibram X Kendi.
Others pointed to the stark contrast between law enforcement’s response to the mob at the Capitol versus their treatment of protesters against police brutality.
“Peaceful protestors got pepper sprayed so Trump could hold a Bible up for a photo in front of a church,” tweeted Shannon Sharpe, a former American football player, referring to an incident that took place over the summer in the midst of protests following the police killing of George Floyd.
“Thinking about all the protestors who got their eyes shot out by rubber bullets this summer for doing things like ‘walking’,” said the journalist Libby Watson. Dozens of people who were peacefully protesting for racial justice, along with some journalists who were covering the events, have sustained serious injuries from rubber bullets and teargas that were used by police to disperse crowds.
“Appears the ‘looting/shooting’ rule does not apply to everyone,” wrote the Atlantic writer Adam Serwer in reply to a picture of an insurgent walking away with a podium, referring to Trump’s tweet in May telling racial justice protesters that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
The New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb said the aggressiveness of the police in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police killing of Michael Brown compared with officers’ response to the mob at the Capitol was “effing astounding”.