Capitol Riots

Sydney Cole, Newspaper Writer

On November 7, 2020, President Joe Biden won the election with 306 electoral votes. Since the 2016 election, five states have switched from Republican to Democrat, and this upset and surprised the former president Donald Trump. Trump filed several lawsuits for fraudulent vote counts and had several states recounted.

During the capital riots, two police officers were suspended consequently of their actions. Pressure is being piled onto authorities to hold rioters accountable and secure Washington D.C. from further violence, especially for Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. 

Tim Ryan, a democratic senator for Ohio, said that one of the officers took a selfie with a rioter wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. He says that the “interim chief determined that to be a qualifying action for immediate suspension.”

Lots of the rioters weren’t wearing masks, so it was simple for the FBI to identify and arrest them. One rioter was Richard Barnett, who had a picture taken of him sitting in House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi’s chair. He was arrested the Friday after the riots in his home state of Arkansas on federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property. 

Another partaker, Jake Angeli, was arrested on the Saturday after the riots on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. “What I was doing was civil disobedience, I didn’t do anything wrong. I walked through an open door, dude,” said Angeli.

Five people died during the protests. Brian Sicknick joined the Capitol police in 2008 and died, but the cause of death is pending. Law enforcement officials said he had been “physically engaged with protestors” and was hit over the head with a fire extinguisher. He died several days later in the hospital.. Ashli Babbitt, a rioter, was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer while trying to get through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby, which is an area in the Capitol directly outside of the House Chamber. In her last moments, she was being hoisted up to the window with a Trump flag around her neck. Three more people died by being trampled by mobs.

Following the attack, the Capital Chief, Steven Sund, resigned and Yogananda Pittman was announced the new chief. She is the first woman and first Black American to lead the law enforcement agency. She says, “the police department is actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some officers and officials that appear to be in violation of department regulations and policies.”

Post-attack, official investigations continue.