LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday — and many are questioning why law enforcement did not respond faster.
Some are comparing law enforcement’s reaction to Wednesday’s riot to their response to the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C., just a few months ago. Experts say deep questions need to be asked and answered.
It was a dark day in American history, as a violent mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol building. Lawmakers, including those in Nevada’s congressional delegation, were placed on lockdown. 8 News Now spoke to Nevada Democratic Rep. Susie Lee as it all unfolded.
“It was horrific,” Lee said. “To me, this is more than protesting, it is more than rioting; this is violent extremism.” For those on the ground, one thing was obvious: “The police were clearly overwhelmed at the Capitol,” Lee said.
Video shows law enforcement struggling to control the crowd. The National Guard was only mobilized after the rioters overran the building. Many are making a stark contrast between that and images from summer 2020, showing the National Guard already on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.
That raises the question: “If you’re going to have a large security force awaiting a Black Lives Matter demonstration, why wouldn’t you do the exact same thing for thousands of people on the [political] right?” asked Tyler Parry, an assistant professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at UNLV.
Parry said, historically, there is a perceived threat when minority groups protest. He adds, the pro-police attitude of Trump supporters may also impact law enforcement’s actions.
“This discourse have convinced the police that a Trump rally is not going to turn violent because they’re there to support them,” Parry said.
He said an opposite reaction often occurs when Black Lives Matter protesters criticize the police.
“What seems to occur in consequence of that rhetoric is a type of fragility that occurs within the police force, to where they are going to be more willing to act aggressively against protesters of BLM movements, than they are for Trump supporters.”
The question now is if things will change. “Today has proven [the extremist Trump supporters] don’t care about law and order, but as long as they say it, they will be treated differently,” Parry said.
Photos of Wednesday’s events have filled social media. The NAACP tweeted one photo along with the caption: “We see ARMED TERRORIST storm the Capitol of the USA with little to no recourse!”