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DC police make many more arrests in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests than during the Capitol clash



When a crowd of President Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, they faced far fewer police presence – and by the end of the day, far fewer rebels were in custody.

The strong discrepancy in the arrests came, although more DC officers were injured during the chaos in the Capitol, which killed five people, including a police officer.

Even with 14 additional people arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police, a separate agency, the number of people arrested in Wednesday’s riots was less than a quarter of those detained by city officials on June 1 alone.

Activists in DC said they were shocked that a deadly attack on the heart of American democracy had resulted in far fewer people in police custody than clashes during protests over law enforcement brutality.

“It̵

7;s so, so offensive to racial justice activists who draw attention to the lost lives of blacks,” said Anthony Lorenzo Green, one of the activists leading the Black Lives Matter DC group. “The way they chose to secure the Capitol was to let everyone go – they let these people back on our streets.”

If the Black Lives Matter protesters had tried to enter the Capitol instead of the predominantly white crowd supporting Trump, Green said, “We would have been chained, we would have been taken away, we would have been shot, we would have been dead.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump try to break the police barrier in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Fewer arrests, more officer injuries

Inequalities in detention are particularly striking, given that more military ministry officials were injured this week. The department said 56 of its employees were injured while responding to Wednesday’s uprising. By comparison, the department told local news station WUSA in June that 21 employees were injured in the 10 days between May 29 and June 7.
Attorney General William Barr said that, including federal troops and agents sent to the city, about 150 law enforcement officers had been injured in DC for several days during the protests.
The Capitol attack was also more deadly than the summer protests: Brian Cynic, a Capitol police officer, died Thursday night “from injuries sustained while on duty” because he was “physically involved with protesters,” according to his department. Cynic’s death sparked a federal investigation into the murder. Four other people also died Wednesday, including a woman shot dead by another Capitol officer and three others who suffered what authorities described as “medical emergencies”.

No law enforcement officers were killed in the District of Columbia while responding to protests and riots during the summer.

Of course, the protests this summer and the Capitol uprising this week were very different events – for example, there were probably many more protesters scattered in a wider area of ​​the city last summer than on Wednesday.

Kristen Metzger, an MPD spokesman, said the department did not make more arrests on Wednesday in part because, unlike the summer protests, the curfew in the city had not been announced before the incident.

“When we announce (curfew) in advance, we have enough resources to get people in the vans and we are ready to make mass arrests,” Metzger told CNN. “Because it was done so late in the day, we were not ready to make mass arrests in this way until the evening was introduced later that afternoon.”

Metzger also noted that the Capitol is under the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police in the United States and that the district police were called for assistance only after demonstrators violated the security of the building.

“At that point, we were just in control of the situation and taking them out of the Capitol building,” she said.

Racial justice leaders shake with
But Monica Hopkins, executive director of DC’s ACLU, said she couldn’t believe the department wasn’t better prepared – especially since pro-Trump figures have been openly planning their revolt for weeks and MPD has just arrested a far-right leader. the Proud Boys group in the District of Columbia days before the Capitol Uprising.

“We are a city that is constantly engaged in mass demonstrations,” Hopkins said. “Any law enforcement agency in this city to say they were caught flat-footed or didn’t know what was coming is just amazing.”

Capitol police spokesmen did not respond to a request for comment, but said in a statement that the attack on the building was unprecedented and that the agency would review its security plan. Stephen Sand, head of the department, announced on Thursday that he would resign next week.

There will likely be additional arrests related to the Capitol intrusion. Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney general, said Thursday that federal officials plan to review social media footage from Bedlam and arrest people they identify. Federal prosecutors have already filed charges against 15 people, Sherwin said.

US Capitol police detain rebels outside the House of Commons during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021 (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Capitol protesters face less serious charges

For now, at least, there are noticeable differences in the seriousness of the charges against those arrested by the Capitol and those arrested during the summer protests.

Most of those arrested on Wednesday were detained for curfew violations or illegal entry charges. DC police arrested only one person on charges they specifically listed as a felony: a 39-year-old man accused of rioting and illegally entering the Capitol. His arrest did not necessarily represent all the crimes committed on Wednesday, as DC police did not always include this information in their data. More people are likely to face crime as prosecutors move forward with their cases.

At least 29 people were arrested on June 1 criminal charges, most of them facing theft and rioting, according to MPD. On the night of the Black Lives Matter protests – August 14, when protesters chanted the names of people killed by the local police department before a clash with police – police arrested at least 37 people on riot charges.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the discrepancies in the arrests and charges. Bowser criticized the federal response to the uprising, noting at a news conference Wednesday that “we saw a different stance used” by federal officials compared to the highly militarized response to the summer protests.

While many of the demonstrators who filled the streets during protests over George Floyd’s death were peaceful, there were also riots and looting in the city for several days in late May and early June. The sporadic protests continued for the rest of the year – there were five more days later in 2020, when DC police made more than two dozen arrests related to the unrest. Some of the arrests in December appear to be linked to another Trump-backed rally.

Whistleblower holding an envelope.

President-elect Joe Biden focused on racial differences in a speech Thursday, saying “no one can tell me that if it was a group of Black Lives who protested yesterday, they would not be treated very, much differently from the crowd.” of bandits who invaded the Capitol. “

Data released by the police department also shows that the people arrested during the Black Lives protests are more local than those arrested this week, most of whom flock to the capital from other parts of the country.

Among those arrested whose country of residence was available, police data show that 94% of those arrested between late May and August were from DC, Maryland or Virginia. Only 25% of those arrested on Wednesday or early Thursday morning are from the same region.

Hopkins, the executive director of the ACLU, said the discrepancy between the treatment of “white leaders coming to our city” and black protesters was an example of a textbook on police differences.

Events show that police reformers need to pay attention “not only to what the police do,” she said, but also “when officers decide to do something and when they decide to do nothing.”




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