Thursday, January 21

This is how Washington police acted in the face of Black Lives Matter protest


(CNN) — As hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol, smashing windows and wreaking havoc, politicians and activists, among others, compared Wednesday’s police response to that of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.

The death of George Floyd, a black man who passed away in May 2020 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to his neck, sparked hundreds of protests across the country over the summer. In many cities, including the capital, the police confronted protesters with tear gas, violence and arrests.

Capitolio Black Lives Matter

National Guard soldiers were deployed to the Lincoln Memorial oJune 2, 202120, during protests in Washington over the death of George Floyd.

However, the reaction to Wednesday’s protests, many noted, was different. The Global Black Lives Matter Network, one of the best-known organizations fighting for the well-being of blacks, described Wednesday’s riots as a “coup.”

The group said it was “one more example of the hypocrisy in the response of our country’s law enforcement agencies to the protest.”

“When wblackks protest for our lives, too often we find National Guard troops or police officers equipped with assault rifles, shields, tear gas and combat helmets,” the group said in a statement. “Make no mistake, if the protesters werblackk, they would have hit us with tear gas, and maybe we would have been shot.”

Here’s a look at last year’s protests, compared to Wednesday’s.

June 2, 2020

Members of the Washington National Guard, armed and in camouflage uniforms, stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last June as crowds of protesters held a peaceful protest after several days of demonstrations.

During Wednesday’s events, the rioters had already entered the building before the National Guard was activated.

January 6, 2021

On Wednesday, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol and packed the building’s stairs. In some images, officers could be seen applying pepper spray. Tear gas was also deployed, but it is unclear whether by protesters or police, and people wiped tears from their eyes while coughing.

June 1, 2020

Before Trump made his comments in the Rose Garden last June, police near the White House fired tear gas and fired rubber bullets at protesters in an effort to disperse the crowd for the president’s planned visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Earlier, Trump had encouraged the nation’s governors to more aggressively confront protesters in their states.

After his speech, Trump walked with the protesters to the church for a photo shoot.

January 6, 2021

Pro-Trump protesters pushed metal fences and raped the United States Capitol building, walking around the complex for several hours.

Trump had ordered the National Guard dispatched to Washington along with “other federal protective services,” according to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. The entire National Guard was activated by the Department of Defense, according to the Pentagon.

June 3, 2020

Last June, protesters in Washington repeatedly faced tear gas fires. Many were arrested. A protest left 88 arrests.

By comparison, Metropolitan Police Department Chief RoberCenteree said Wednesday night that police had made 52 arrests, 26 of which were on the grounds of the United States Capitol.

January 6, 2021

Trump supporters flooded the steps of the Capitol as Congressional leaders evacuated the compound after a shutdown.

A federal agent told CNN that the Washington National Guard did not plan to use it to protect federal facilities, and the Trump administration had decided earlier this week that would be the job of the civilian police.

CNN’s LeaSmashsh anRa shardrd Rose contributed to this report.

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