Capitol Riots: What Happened?

By: Linnette Cruz 10-I

On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 6, rioters coming from a pro-Trump rally nearby ultimately stormed past police officers and broke into the U.S. Capitol, resulting in deaths, injuries, arrests, vandalism, and just overall chaos among the American people. Thousands of “protestors” took to Capitol Hill to challenge and attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The Trump allies waved pro-Trump flags and climbed the Capitol’s high walls causing them to effectively breach into the meeting place of the United States Congress. 

After breaching police gates and smashing windows, the Trump-supporting rioters headed straight into the offices of Congress members and the Rotunda, leaving the country in a state of humiliation and the Capitol under lockdown for 12 hours straight. Inside, senators and Congress members were ordered to wear gas masks as tear gas was being deployed and evacuated from the chamber.  After hours of chaos and destruction, D.C. police stated that 52 arrests were made that day with the help of the FBI who are still attempting to identify those who attended the event, requesting public help. 

Among those arrested was Richard Barnett, the 60-year-old man who was pictured sitting on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s desk. Additionally, Jake Angeli, 33, was charged with “disorderly conduct and violent entry” following the Capitol riot after breaking into the federal building with nothing but pants and a bearskin headdress topped with horns. According to officials, Angeli asked to be served only organic food in jail, his mother claiming that “he gets very sick if he doesn’t eat organic food.”

It is no secret that the results of this memorable election have created an already established sharp division between the two major political parties, more specifically, the Democrats and the Grand Old Party– alternatively called the Republicans. This partisan divide regarding political values is undoubtedly becoming even wider due to the current individual who sits in the highest office of the United States – President Donald J. Trump. Now more than ever our political leaders need to be cautious with how they communicate with the press because everything and anything can be taken into account in the wrong way, and Trump’s distasteful way with words is no exception. 

On the same day that members of Congress were ratifying President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ win in the 2020 elections, Trump indirectly summoned hundreds – if not thousands – of his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” and “take the country back.” One week posterior, after broken windows and heightened levels of anxiety, rage, and fear, the Trump incited assault on the federal government office has left five dead and several injured. Among those who perished, police officer Brian Sicknick and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt died after being brutally beaten and shot. 

Mark Zuckerberg and other big social media company owners have been blamed for allowing Trump to spread false rumors about voter fraud and inducing violence among the people he vowed to protect when he was sworn in for president in 2017. Since then, Trump has been effectively banned from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and various other social media platforms in the last week.

Overall, there is no doubt that the riots that occurred on Wednesday afternoon were a failed, attempted coup that has left five dead and many others injured that is being deemed one of the most – if not the worst – dangerous attacks to our 232-year-old democracy up to date. On January 13th, Democrats and 10 Republicans called and voted for the second impeachment of Donald J. Trump on accounts of “abuse of power for attempting to overturn the election results in Georgia and Incitement of violence for orchestrating an attempted coup against our country.” Trump is the first-ever president to be impeached twice, ultimately making history one week before leaving office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has even introduced the idea of voting to convict the president at a trial. From a personal standpoint, these charges are only the minimum compared to the horror and chaos that unfolded that treacherous afternoon, or better yet, these past four years. As disastrous and unfathomable as this event was, it has also served as a wake-up call for the people of America to finally realize that things do, in fact, need to change in this country, starting with the removal of Trump from office. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing Donald Trump being possibly convicted and barred from office if the articles are approved by the Senate.

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