Police Response To Washington’s Black Lives Matter Protesters Starkly Different To Capitol Riot

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 07 Jan 2021 11:11
Police Response To Black Lives Matter Protesters Starkly Different To Capitol RiotGetty/TimothyBurke/Twitter

Many people have taken to social media to highlight the disparity between the police presence at the Black Lives Matter protests and yesterday’s riots at the Capitol building.

Hundreds of pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the government building in Washington DC on Wednesday, January 6, after a ‘Save America’ speech from Trump encouraged them to march on Capitol.


The riots, which have been described as ‘close to a coup,’ resulted in the deaths of four people, as armed protesters were able to break past police officers and enter the usually secure building.

Pro-Trump riots

Congress Finalises Biden’s Presidential Win After Violent Delay At The CapitolPA Images

While there were police present, some of whom were seen deploying pepper spray, the scenes pictured appeared to show a meek response from the authorities, in comparison of that seen during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.


A photo, taken outside the Lincoln memorial in June 2020, has been doing the rounds on social media, showing innumerable officers wearing bulletproof vests, who were deployed in response to the protests which ensued following the death of George Floyd.

Police response to Black Lives Matter protests

Police Response To Washington’s Black Lives Matter Protesters Starkly Different To Capitol RiotGetty

By contrast, people have shared images of the very same location, which had been overtaken with Trump supporters, who used violence to break into the Capitol building.


‘When Black people protest for our lives, we are all too often met by National Guard troops or police equipped with assault rifles, shields, tear gas and battle helmets,’ a statement from the Black Lives Matter Global Network reads, as per CNN.

‘Make no mistake, if the protesters were Black, we would have been tear gassed, battered, and perhaps shot.’

Riot police using tear gas to disperse BLM protesters

Police Response For Black Protesters In Washington Last Year Shockingly Different To Capitol RiotPA Images

The statement references the fact that police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds during the BLM protests, despite them being largely peaceful in their approach.

Trump had actively encouraged governors of the states where protests were taking place to be aggressive in the tactics they use.

Meanwhile, last night rioters could be seen forcing their way past police officers, despite the fact the National Guard had allegedly been activated, according to the Pentagon.


When things got completely out of hand, Trump finally issued a statement telling the rioters to go home, but the language he used was very different from that he used to describe BLM protesters in summer.

‘You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order,’ he said in the video, in which he also said he ‘loves’ the rioters and called them ‘very special’. Trump’s video was later removed from social media for ‘severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy’.

Others have taken to Twitter, sharing photos of white rioters at the Capitol building, saying if the protesters had been Black, many of them would have been shot and killed.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, Capitol, Donald Trump, National Guard, Now, Protesters, washington


  1. CNN

    Rioters breached US Capitol security on Wednesday. This was the police response when it was Black protesters on DC streets last year