“USA, USA, USA!” chanted the pro-Trump rioters as they stormed the capitol on Wednesday. They began at the National Mall as they broke through police lines at the Capitol, where President Trump urged them to disrupt the democratic process and head into the building. 

As they smashed their way in, lawmakers and staff members were hiding under tables,  as they watched what should have been a seemingly peaceful process turn violent. That’s when shots were fired into the chambers. A woman wound up dead. The Confederate Flag was swung proudly by a rioter through the halls of Congress. Utter chaos. 

We continue to learn just how relentless hate can be.

These self-proclaimed patriots committed acts of violence against the state. Armed with symbols of hate, sporting sweatshirts saying “Camp Auschwitz” and countless neo-nazi symbols. Also, they mocked the nation’s leaders by posing for photos in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. 

This came as yet another desperate attempt of President Trump to cling to the presidency. This took place on the day Congress was to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination. While some Republican legislatures stated they would object to the certification of the electoral votes, it would not be enough to overturn the election. 

He encouraged this violence with rhetoric such as “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore. Let the weak ones get out.” Guliani remarked, “Let’s have a trial by combat.” They took these statements to heart and ran with them. The chaos resulted in 82 arrests.

A torn “Save America” sign outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Joe Biden was formally recognized by Congress as the next U.S. president early Thursday, ending two months of failed challenges by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that exploded into violence at the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers met to ratify the election result. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

Police sit back

As events continue to unfold and more information is being brought to light, capitol police rejected offers from the National Guard to aid with the riots. Then, as the rioters continued their rampage, Justice Department leaders even reached out to offer FBI agents to assist. They turned down this offer as well. 

Despite the countless warnings of potential insurrection allowing Capitol Police time to prepare, they planned for free speech demonstrations. Also, in many recordings, we witness police running from the crowd, swinging batons wildly, helplessly unaware of how to diffuse the situation. 

There has been an increasing amount of backlash for the way they handled the rioters on Wednesday. The violence used on Black Lives Matter protesters was excessive and unwarranted. On the other hand, they were one block away from the Capitol, and no threat at all to its security. Unlike the rioters on Wednesday who breached security by breaking windows, armed with explosives, and took batons and shields from the police.

A total of Washington police, U.S. Park police, 5,000 national guard troops, Bureau of Prisons, and army helicopters swarmed a mostly black crowd in June. Excessive force such as teargas, batons, and horses was used to clear a path for Trump to stage a photo op in front of a church. 

Many federal law enforcement agencies were slow to respond to the riots in support of Trump. 

Initially, he refused to mobilize and send in the National Guard and subdue the violence. Then, in his address to the rioters, he said, “Go home, we love you.” “We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.” Then, this followed with some self-victimization, stating the election was a “landslide, and everyone knows it.” 

With a poor attempt at diffusing the violence, it seemed as if he was coddling his supports. A mere slap on the wrist, or even encouraging them. Presently Trump has tried to overturn the election in six battleground states with twelve failed election lawsuits. This once again was a desperate attempt from Trump in hopes of disrupting the democratic process to get his way.

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