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New York City elected officials call for investigation into Capitol Police conduct during insurrection

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Jan. 7, 2021.
Photo by Mark Hallum

The lack of policing in Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol Building made one thing clear to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams:  the predominantly white Trump mob got night-and-day treatment from Black Lives Matter protestors over the summer.

Although the dust has settled in Washington D.C., Adams along with Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams called Thursday for an investigation into the behavior of law enforcement tasked with protecting the Capitol from destruction, disrespect and violence.

“Videos on social media actually shows in officers taking a selfie with an insurrection, another shows an officer helping a woman involved in the coup attempt down the stairs, out of the building. Thousands attempted to overtake our government, yet 50 were arrested, not acceptable,” Adams said near Cadman Plaza Thursday morning.

Additionally, Adams suspects some level of co-conspiracy between Capital Police and the MAGA rioters, egged on by the words of President Donald Trump. Two pieces of evidence for this, he claims, is the flag being raised by none other than Capitol Police as well as gates being opened for the protestors to enter.

“The photos and videos are clear. The overwhelming number of people who participated in Black Lives Matter marches were black lives. The protesters just today, were white,” Adams said. “We treated one group in a very heavy handed police presence. We treated another group, as though they were just scarred for a walk, walk, for picnicking in our nation’s capital.”

Adams hopes to see a full investigation which subpoenas communications made by police officers who may have been involved. Both Adams and Williams expressed dismay at the simple contrast between the militant preparations made by Capitol Police during the George Floyd demonstrations and the seeming lack of preparation for a majority white crowd.

“Yesterday, thousands upon thousands of protesters took the Capitol building by force. They scaled the walls, they had pipe bombs,” Williams said. “They broke windows. They fought with police. They were met with shrugs and selfies… and even security, opening the gates for them.”

According to Cumbo, the outrage that led to the destruction of the Capitol Building on Wednesday was an unwanted result of African Americans rising up in society since the end of the Bush administration.

“Yesterday, we saw the ramifications of an African American man who became president for two terms, no scandals delivered the country back to its rightful place, globally, and we saw a reaction to what we saw when President Barack Obama was elected.”

Adams hopes to see the creation of a task force, led by the Department of Justice and coordinated with police into these concerns, as well as the creation of a commission to determine how these people were able to easily breach the Capitol and deliver those findings to Congress.

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