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Capitol Police Criticized For Response To Insurrection

Critics question why in D.C. 47 people were arrested for breaking curfew while 26 people were arrested during the storming of the Capitol.
Posted at 1:15 PM, Jan 07, 2021

Law enforcement responses to this summer's demonstration compared to Wednesday's riot has brought criticism.

"I think, as someone who has attended several protest — and this is the same thing I'm hearing from activists across the country — the preparation was extraordinarily different," said Newsy criminal justice reporter Jamal Andress.

In 2014, during President Obama's term, he signed a piece of legislation that essentially restricted the amount of military surplus gear that went to a local police departments. And the reason he did that is because that gear — tanks and riot gear and weapons of war — were essentially being unleashed on Ferguson protesters. 

"So the idea that you have a group of rioters storming the nation's capital on the same day that we're certifying election results I think it's shocking," said Andress. 

Ahead of anticipated unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, "they were far more 

prepared," said Andress. 

The National Guard was activated, a state of emergency was declared and barricades were put up around the county courthouse for the decision in the Jacob Blake shooting. 

Activist Michael McBride from the Bay Area says the reason for this is abundantly simple.

"White bodies who engage in terror are handled gently. Black and brown bodies who engage in resistance are terrorized, handled very roughly and traumatically," said McBride "And so the blatant contradiction is playing for all of us to see."

Andress points to arrest numbers.

Early numbers showed 54 people were arrested in D.C. About 30 of those were for breaking curfew, while far fewer people were arrested during the storming of the Capitol. Compare that with the Dallas protest this summer: 600 people were arrested for blocking a highway.