An armed and deluded mob stormed the nation’s Capitol and attempted a coup.
The scene itself was unbelievable, but so was the response from law enforcement. Last year, the Black Lives Matter movement galvanized Americans from all walks of life to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and what they represented: an endless cycle of police brutality against people of color.
In Washington, D.C., the Black Lives Matter protests were met with tear gas, pepper spray and heavily armed law enforcement and National Guard troops dispatched to protect monuments and control crowds.
But yesterday, despite widely publicized plans for mob action to disrupt the meeting of Congress to certify that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, law-enforcement was wildly unprepared, made remarkably few arrests and seemingly stood by, got out of the way and in at least one case posed for a selfie with an insurrectionist as the mob stormed and vandalized the Capitol.
The security and crowd control failure must be investigated.
It wasn’t just surreal. It was infuriating. Had the mob or its planners been Black, the law enforcement response would have been different. We all know it.
I’m glad there wasn’t more bloodshed yesterday. We don’t need more violence, or brutality spread more widely. We need more justice and respect for each other. The Capitol is a symbol of America’s democracy. But democracy is only possible when all people are treated as equals.
Jesse Van Tol is NCRC’s Chief Executive Officer.
Originally published by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition: Source