Countries are still reeling from Wednesday’s violence in Washington, raising serious questions about why such a major security breach occurred at the heart of the US government.
Crowds of Trump supporters were forced to enter one of the country’s most historically and politically important buildings, while elected lawmakers were mobilized to confirm Biden’s election victory.
The world has seen mobs rioting inside – looting and vandalizing symbols of American democracy.
- What does a deadly day mean for Trump’s legacy?
- In pictures: Pro-Trump protesters storm the capital
- Can Trump be removed from power?
President-elect Joe Biden has been sharply critical of the “unacceptable” handling of the riots, which has been compared to the militancy in response to last year’s Black Lives protests.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham also protested security failures. “They could have blown up the building. They could have killed us all. They could have destroyed the government,” he said.
How can this be allowed to happen?
His failure to predict the criticism centers on the preparation and possible torture by the police, despite the fact that Trump supporter supporters and other groups are openly discussing their plans online.
The Washington Post quoted sources close to the matter as saying that the Capitol Police had accused the building of security and had not immediately requested help from the city’s Central Police Force or the National Guard on that basis. A Multigens Command Center was established for coordination. Response to any violence
And without proper security measures, their deserted police lines were quickly overrun by thousands descending on the capital.
Dozens of officers were injured in the attempt to seize control, and one was later killed, including some with weapons, ammunition and chemical spray agents.
Did the police treat Trump supporters differently?
To many, after George Floyd’s death, the optics of last year’s protests were in stark contrast, with rows of National Guard troops enforcing discipline in the capital.
For hours after Wednesday’s violence, protesters were filmed being taken out of the building without arrest or under their guidance, and even appeared to have helped them fall down the capital’s stairs. The door is open for them to go out. Another viral clip shows a police officer posing for a selfie with a man.
Many rioters photographed their crimes and even broadcast them live. Seen in a photo, his face was exposed, who stepped on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and then showed a letter in which he was seen stealing from his office. The Confederate flag was paraded by another masked man and a notorious conspiratorial theorist – wearing horns, fur and face paint – was seen standing in a Senate chair on which Vice President Mike Pence had just hours earlier Was captured.
Nick Ochs, a well-known member of the Fakhr Boys’ far-right group, tweeted a selfie and later told CNN: “There were thousands of people there. [the police] The situation was out of control. I was not stopped or questioned. ”
But despite the severity and scale of the chaos, relatively few arrests were made Wednesday night.
BLM supporters and others on the left have expressed outrage at the perceived double standards of policing. Incoming Vice President Kamala Harris said the severance was “unacceptable.”
“I can’t think of moving this page forward or turning it around unless we consider the reality of tomorrow’s vision,” he wrote. “Real progress will only be possible if we acknowledge that this connection is disconnected and take steps to repair it.”
Top congressional Democrats Chuck Schmidt and Nancy Pelosi have been critical of security failures.
U.S. Capital Police Chief Steven Sands initially defended his power in a statement Thursday – calling law enforcement actions “brave” and their plans strong.
But with the departure of Sergeant-at-Arms for both the House and the Senate, his resignation was announced within hours.
In addition to the apparent lack of preparedness, confusion ensued during the violence, when more security forces were deployed.
According to the Washington Post, Pentagon officials had imposed strict operational limits on the DC National Guard prior to the protests and were concerned about the “optics” of armed military personnel in the capital.
On Thursday, defense officials sought to defend the pace at which they authorized and mobilized guards to respond to violence.
Several US media outlets have quoted senior sources as suggesting that President Donald Trump has been reluctant to use the National Guard to quell the unrest.
If true, this is in stark contrast to the show of strength. The president has repeatedly called for leftist and BLM protesters. The BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Correa says it is emphasized that security decisions have been politicized under the Trump administration.
Professor Clifford Stout, who specializes in mob policing advising the British government, has been analyzing the police response to the BLM protests in Seattle. He told the BBC there would be “powerful and important” questions about how officials failed to raise funds through Trump supporters.
“It was a failure to predict that they would be inadequate as a result and when they would have to react and mobilize more resources,” he said. “It’s not just about the complexities of the police response, it’s also about how they perceive whether resources are needed in the first place around a lower level of risk assessment.” ۔ ”
What was known before the violence?
The rally of the President’s supporters, while the Congress was confirming the election results, was not spontaneous. The protest was pre-planned, and months later there was an escalation of rhetoric by President Trump and some of his Republican allies seeking to undermine the outcome.
In the days before the attack (and indeed weeks, weeks and months), people monitoring the online platform used by pro-Trump supporters and right-wing groups, including lawmakers, rallied around the election results. What a statement of encouragement. Some were even given a picture of themselves wearing clothes that said “War: Civil War” was published with a date of January 6, 2021.
Professor Staat, who researches the psychology of gang violence and bullying, told the BBC that he found a particularly interesting case of open crime among rioters.
“The mob had a clear purpose and their actions were justified by the idea that their president – as commander-in-chief – allowed them to go and do so,” he said. Is.” “And the realization is that Capitol Hill itself has overcome corruption.”
Some people were confused and angry about why the officers used force against them. Tako Tok has been viewed more than 25 million times by a Yahoo News, showing a woman mastered by the police, despite the announcement: “We are attacking the capital – it’s a revolution!”
Some radical supporters have responded with disbelief and frustration to a video of concessions shared by President Trump following the violence on Thursday.
A day after the U-turn, he told supporters: “We will never give up, we will never accept” and openly pressured his vice president to overturn the election result.
Will the rioters face legal action?
Vice President Mike Pence is among those who have called for legal action against those involved in the flagrant violation of the law and for the brazen treatment of several individuals involved.
When Facebook moved to remove videos that appeared to provoke or encourage events, some open source investigators asked people to save evidence to help identify the mob.
Meanwhile, many of the people seen in the images that went viral from the inside are already well-known figures in right-wing groups and conspiracy theories.
Dozens of people are already facing charges – one man, an official says, with a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. And police have appealed for help in identifying the culprits who have not yet been arrested.
Acting U.S. Attorney for DC, Michael Sherwin, said Thursday that when prosecutors are asked if “we will make the most of the allegations,” they will be asked if the country is hostile to the conspiracy. And crimes like sedition can be presented.
He refused to investigate anyone believed to have incited the violence, including President Trump.
“We are still trying to deal with the closest allies on board,” he said.
“These are the people who clearly violated the capital, created violence and destruction there and then got out of there. But yes, we are seeing all the actors here, not just those entering these buildings. To the people. ”