On Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at approximately 2:30 PM Eastern Time, the United States Capitol was seized and captured for the first time in more than 200 years. At the United States Capitol Building, the world witnessed a complete failure of general safety and security protocols that put everyone in danger after domestic terrorists stormed the building. This event, captured live on numerous media stations, was perpetrated by what must only be considered as a group of politically-sponsored domestic terrorists.
The rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, caused destruction and mayhem, and interrupted the process of government, endangered the lives of not only the various members of Congress who were there to conduct the certification of the Electoral College to finally verify the rightful election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but also the many law enforcement officers who were there to simply do their job of keeping the U.S. Capitol safe.
Yet this event also made the world witness in real-time what Black and Brown American citizens have been saying for decades. There is both a conscious and unconscious level of institutionalized, systemic racism in the manner in which Black and Brown citizens are policed as compared to White citizens. White privilege is alive and well in America’s policing, and it was on full display when white criminals, anarchists, segregationists, and domestic terrorists were allowed to loot, desecrate and decimate the United States Capitol Building.
As professional law enforcement officers, we have always recognized the difference between the police and security presence when Black and Brown citizens protest, and that provided when White Citizens do the same. And the world witnessed a complete failure of general safety and security protocols, due to the lack of sufficient police presence and equipment, particularly knowing that both the House of Representatives and the Senate were in session.
Yet the genesis of all of this, to include the reported deaths of not less than five people, one of whom died due to police intervention, as well as the death of an officer of the U.S. Capitol Police, must be laid at the feet of one person alone – the leader of our country, for it was he who exhorted and incited the crowds to march on the United States Capitol Building to stop lawmakers from certifying the election for President-elect Joe Biden. It was he who coerced and encouraged members of the Senate and House of Representatives to contest the Electoral College results of six so-called battleground states, a process which the rioters considered central to their actions. It was he who specifically and explicitly called upon his supporters to “Fight to take back our country.” And it was he who refused to send reinforcements to rescue lawmakers from the riot he incited. It is he who is fully complicit in the desolation and damage to the U.S. Capitol and the deaths that have resulted from the intentional carnage.
And make no mistake. Those of his official supporters, politicians, lawyers, religious and corporate leaders, and all others who have supported his insane, maniacal, and dangerous power-mad attempts to retain an office that the citizens of this country have now denied him, are no less complicit.
We urge prosecutors at both the state and federal levels to seek appropriate charges against “all actors” who were involved in either assisting or facilitating this incident. Only a full, complete, transparent, methodical and swift examination of the roles played by each person involved, with appropriate charges to follow, should, and must, be presented. No one, be they a domestic terrorist, or any other person, regardless of their stature, must be found to be above the law.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.