Congressman: Police have ‘instinct’ to shoot black people, would have opened fire if Capitol attackers were black

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WASHINGTON, DC – Despite most experts pointing to poor leadership as the cause for the security failure at the Capitol and bi-partisan congressional praise for the individual officers who battled the insurrection that day, one democratic congressman claimed Friday that if the rioters were black, they would have been gunned down by police.

On CNN, House Majority Chief Deputy Whip Dan Kildee (D-MI) said that law enforcement has an “instinct” to shoot black people. During the interview with host Don Lemon, Kildee said:

“If the crowd had been black or Muslim, it would have been a disaster even greater than it was. Because we know what the instinct would have been for people in law enforcement, that would have been to open fire.”

Kildee continued that the violence that spread across the country in 2020 was not the fault of the rioters, but that of the United States Military:

“Even in the moments when we had violence over the summer, it was violence being perpetrated by the United States military against peaceful protestors.”

The “peaceful protests” that Kildee was referring to spread across the nation after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Many of these Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests turned to violence, with looting and property damage common in places like Portland and New York City.

During the protests and riots, 25 Americans were killed as of October 2020. All but one were killed at the hands of fellow protestors. Nine of the victims were killed during Black Lives Matter protests, and two were killed at pro-Trump “patriot rallies.”

Most of the protesters died of gunshot wounds. The deaths include Garrett Foster, who was carrying an AK-47 at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin Texas. A motorist shot and killed him. It is unknown if Foster made any threats towards the motorist.

In August, a 17-year-old used a rifle to kill two people and wounded a third during an anti-police demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Lawyers claim he was acting in self-defense.

Only one death resulted from police intervention. In Las Vegas, Jorge Gomez was wearing body armor and carrying several firearms.  Gomez pointed a firearm at police, forcing Metro officers to open fire. During the same protest, Las Vegas Police Officer Shay Mikalonis was shot in the head and remains paralyzed from the injury.

Seven people were shot while looting businesses during the unrest.

However, several police officers have been killed during political unrest in 2020. David Dorn, a 77-year-old retired police captain, was killed while responding to an alarm as a security officer at a pawn shop during rioting in St. Louis when he was shot and killed.

Two California law enforcement officers were murdered by an anti-government “Boogaloo” extremist during rioting and political unrest in June.

Although some politicians like Kildee claim that the insurrection at the Capitol occurred because the invaders were white, several failures in the system played a role in the security failure. Police experts have placed much of the blame on planning failures by the leadership of the U.S. Capitol Police.

Edward Maguire, director of the Public Safety Innovation Lab at Arizona State University, explained:

“Any time you have a crowd event, it’s a hope for the best, plan for the worst type of scenario. As long as there’s no current violence, you deploy regular uniforms and use lots of communication and de-escalation. But you always have several levels of a plan behind the curtain,” including more heavily armed and armored riot police.”

He said that instead of preparing for the worst, the Capitol Police refused support from the FBI and the Pentagon when it was offered prior to the attack:

“Every one of these police departments has their own intelligence units that should be out there scouring social media and being plugged into the intelligence products being distributed by federal agencies.”

Seth Stoughton, a criminal justice professor at the University of South Carolina, believes that the Capitol police knew that the protesters in Washington on January 6 were likely armed, and that they did not want to create confrontations during the protests leading up to the rush on the Capitol”

“Police agencies were rightfully criticized for taking a very aggressive, kinetic response to some of those earlier protests. I don’t think we can just say racism, period, and that’s a sufficient explanation. But I do think that’s part of the explanation.

“The failure is not on those individual officers failing to engage in some sort of reckless last stand. The failure is that they were in that position in the first place.”

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Biden: Police would have handled riot differently if Black Lives Matter was involved, places blame on bias and racism

January 9, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – As criticism grows over the failure of law enforcement to protect the United States Capitol, the blame is being placed on ineffective leadership and racism.  President-elect Biden said the nation saw a “clear failure to carry out equal justice.”

During a press conference Thursday, Biden blamed a double standard in the response to invaders at the Capitol compared to that of Black Lives Matter protesters. During a press conference scheduled to announce his nominees for the Department of Justice, Biden said:

“What we saw yesterday in plain view was another violation of the fundamental tenets of this nation. Not only did we see the failure to protect one of the three branches of our government; we also saw a clear failure to carry out equal justice.”

Biden mentioned how his granddaughter Finnegan sent him photographs of heavily armed military guarding the Lincoln Memorial during a BLM protest:

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday … they wouldn’t have been treated very, very different than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.

“We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable ― totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view and I hope it sensitizes them to what we have to do.”

During the same press conference, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said the justice system does not apply justice equally to black and white people:

“The challenge we’re facing in our country is about more than the actions of the few we watched yesterday.

“It’s about how to reform how to transform a justice system that does not work equally for all; a justice system that is experienced differently depending on whether you’re white or black.

“We witnessed two systems of justice when we saw one that let extremists storm the United States Capitol and another that released tear gas on peaceful protesters last summer. The American people have expressed, rightly, outrage. We know this is unacceptable.”

The fallout from the insurgency at the Capitol continues as the Chief of the Capitol Police resigned under threat of termination.  Chief Steven Sund resigned Thursday.  The House and Senate Sergeants-at-arms also agreed to resign.

President Donald Trump, who spoke to the crowd prior to their assault on the Capitol, has faced increasing calls from members of both parties to resign, be removed by the 25th Amendment, or be impeached by Congress.

The inability of the police to stop the right-wing invaders from overtaking the Capitol has been met with shock and anger. Scenes of white supremacists and other radicals parading through the Capitol unabated, forcing lawmakers to huddle behind desks and to be evacuated through back stairs by security, have dominated news outlets and social media.

Many are drawing contrasts between the police response to the insurgents and past responses to protests and riots that spread through American cities this summer protesting alleged police brutality and systemic racism.

Despite data and studies suggesting that systemic racism was not pervasive in law enforcement, many see the scene of military members lined along the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial on June 2, 2020, during a peaceful BLM protest as proof that it exists.

Critics point out that thousands of BLM protestors have been arrested since the police shooting of George Floyd in May 2020. Police have used overwhelming force to control crowds during these protests, but they say the attackers at the Capitol were met with little resistance.

Although authorities are now spanning the country making arrests, initially only 82 people were arrested for the assault on the Capitol, with most only charged with breaking a curfew put in place by Mayor Muriel Bowser during the attack.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama supported the systemic racism claim in a statement issued on Twitter:

“This summer’s Black Lives matter protests were overwhelmingly peaceful movements. And yet, in city after city, day after day we saw peaceful protesters met with brute force.

‘What if these rioters had looked like the folks who go to Ebenezer Baptist Church every Sunday? What would have been different? I think we all know the answer.”

Video evidence has come out showing a valiant effort by Capitol police to resist the invaders during the assault. More than 50 officers were injured and one tragically killed during the melee.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said:

“Many of our Capitol Police just acted so bravely and with such concern for the staff, the members, for the Capitol … and they deserve our gratitude. But there was a failure at the top of the Capitol Police.”

 

 

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