Police Officer Filmed Outside Capitol Building Holding Rioter’s Hand
One of the police officers tasked with stopping protesters at the US Capitol was filmed holding a rioter’s hand as he escorted her away from the building.
Hundreds of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after the sitting president told them he would ‘be with’ them on the march. Just as Congress prepared to convene in a joint session to count electoral votes, protestors infiltrated the building and forced it into lockdown.
While recent demonstrations have seen police use tear gas and rubber bullets on protestors, officers on the scene of yesterday’s riot appeared to try and avoid using force to stop the proceedings. In fact, they appeared quite courteous to those involved.
See one example below:
Footage shown on CNN and shared widely on Twitter shows a police officer holding a riot shield and wearing a helmet as he calmly escorted a woman wearing a Trump hat down the steps of the Capitol.
According to Reuters, the Capitol Police force is trained to keep protestors off the Capitol’s marble outdoor steps, indicating the woman in the video was among those who overwhelmed security to take over the building.
In spite of the breach, the officer behaves kindly towards the woman by offering her some assistance. While it was a kind gesture from the officer, social media users have pointed out the stark contrast between this kind of behaviour and that seen in last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, when officers behaved much more forcefully towards those involved.
One Twitter user wrote:
I …. I just remember when police shoved that old man, and he landed on the back of his head, and wasn’t able to walk, all for showing up to peacefully protest at a BLM protest.
How do you imagine George Floyd’s family feels about seeing this?
Officers on the scene have been further criticised for seemingly taking the time to pose for selfies with rioters who stormed the Capitol.
Author Don Winslow sarcastically commented on the events, writing:
This just in:
You can attack and vandalize the capitol of the United States and the Capitol Police will:
-Escort you inside
-Take selfies with you inside
-Escort you back outside
-Let you walk away without arrest
Law enforcement officials cited by Reuters described the infiltration of the Capitol as ‘a catastrophic failure to prepare’. They said it resulted in one of the gravest security lapses in recent US history and turned one of the most recognisable symbols of American power into a locus of political violence.
The breach was initially handled solely by the 2,000 member Capitol Police force, which acted alone for hours before members of the US federal government’s security arrived.
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