US Capitol riots: Democrats stunned by briefing on Capitol’s security before insurrection – CNNPolitics

“They had the information. They did not act on it. And a question that I have, and one that I think we need to get to the bottom of, is who made the decision not to act?” DeLauro told CNN.
“People said today that there was ample evidence, that the intelligence agencies had ample evidence, that an angry mob was going to descend on Washington with Congress’ meeting to certify the election as the intended target,” DeLauro added.

After participating in the hearing, Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Pennsylvania Democrat, told CNN, “It was only by pure dumb luck that elected officials, staffers and more Capitol policemen were not killed.”

…One source told CNN that Pittman was the operational chief the day of the siege at the Capitol and “never took control of the radio or commanded officers what to do in any way, shape or form.” Officers have told CNN that they felt abandoned and betrayed by the department’s leadership.
According to prepared remarks, Pittman told lawmakers that Capitol Police knew two days before the insurrection that militia and White supremacist groups would be at the Capitol on January 6, and some of those people planned to be armed.

DeLauro said members were not given a clear answer when they repeatedly asked for who was responsible for the lack of preparedness and response.



Outgoing Capitol Police chief: House, Senate security officials hamstrung efforts to call in National Guard – The Washington Post

Sund asked House and Senate security officials for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup.

…House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said he wasn’t comfortable with the “optics” of formally declaring an emergency ahead of the demonstration, Sund said. Meanwhile, Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger suggested that Sund should informally seek out his Guard contacts, asking them to “lean forward” and be on alert in case Capitol Police needed their help.

…It was the first of six times Sund’s request for help was rejected or delayed, he said. Two days later on Wednesday afternoon, his forces already in the midst of crisis, Sund said he pleaded for help five more times as a scene far more dire than he had ever imagined unfolded on the historic Capitol grounds.

“I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance,” Sund recalled saying. “I have got to get boots on the ground.”

On the call were several officials from the D.C. government, as well as officials from the Pentagon. The D.C. contingent was flabbergasted to hear a top Army official say that he could not recommend that his boss, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, approve the request.

“I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,” the official said, according to Sund and others on the call.

…Despite Sund’s pleas, the first National Guard personnel didn’t arrive at the Capitol until 5:40 p.m. — after four people had died and the worst was long over.

On the way home that evening, Sund did as Stenger suggested, calling Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the head of the 1,000-member D.C. National Guard, to tell him that he might call on him for help. “If we can get you leaning forward,” Sund said, “how long do you think it would take to get us assistance?”

Walker said he thought he could send 125 personnel fairly quickly. Over the weekend, Sund had also conferred with D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III, who also had offered to lend a hand if trouble arose.

…Sund said he now suspects that the pipe bombs were an intentional effort to draw officers away from the Capitol perimeter.

…“Violent confrontations from the start. They came with riot helmets, gas masks, shields, pepper spray, fireworks, climbing gear — climbing gear! — explosives, metal pipes, baseball bats. I have never seen anything like it in 30 years of events in Washington.”

Sund immediately called Contee, who sent 100 officers to the scene, with some arriving within 10 minutes. But at 1:09 p.m., Sund said he called Irving and Stenger, telling them it was time to call in the Guard. He wanted an emergency declaration. Both men said they would “run it up the chain” and get back to him, he said.

Minutes later, aides to the top congressional leaders were called to Stenger’s office for an update on the situation — and were infuriated to learn that the sergeants at arms had not yet called in the National Guard or any other reinforcements, as was their responsibility to do without seeking approval from leaders.

Unlike anywhere else in the country, the D.C. Guard does not report to a governor, but to the president, so Walker patched in the office of the Secretary of the Army, noting that he would need authorization from the Pentagon to order soldiers to the Capitol.

A top Army official noted the Pentagon still needed authorization from Capitol Police to step foot on Capitol grounds. Sund ticked through details on the severity of the breach, but the call got noisy with crosstalk as officials asked more questions.

…But the Army official, dialed in from across the river at the Pentagon, pushed back, according to Sund, saying he would prefer to have Guard soldiers take up posts around Washington, relieving D.C. police, so that they could respond to the Capitol instead of guardsmen. Sund’s account is supported by four D.C. officials on the call, including D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.

…At one point, according to a defense official, Contee said, “Let me be clear, are you denying this?” To which the Army official responded that he wasn’t denying the request; he simply didn’t have the authority to approve it.


How a String of Failures Led to the Capitol Siege – The New York Times

Rioters had broken through the thin police line on the Capitol steps and were descending on hundreds of lawmakers conducting the ceremonial, quadrennial act of certifying the presidential vote — and the mayor and her aides were not able to stop the attack.

Ms. Bowser and her police chief called the Pentagon, asking for additional D.C. National Guard troops to be mobilized to support what officials were realizing was inadequate protection at the Capitol. But they were told that the request would first have to come from the Capitol Police.

In a call to Chief Steven Sund of the Capitol Police, they learned that his force was under siege, lawmakers were being rushed to safety, and rioters were overrunning anyone in authority. He kept repeating the same phrase: “The situation is dire.”

…Capitol Police and the city’s Metropolitan Police had rebuffed offers days before for more help from the National Guard beyond a relatively modest contingent to provide traffic control, so no additional troops had been placed on standby. It took hours for them to arrive.

…Federal agencies and the Capitol Police appeared to issue no serious warnings in the days leading up to the riots that the gathering could turn violent, despite countless posts on right-wing social media sites pledging confrontation and even bloodshed.

…Once the Capitol building was breached, a patchwork group of reinforcements was forced to try to navigate a labyrinthine complex of unfamiliar passages and byways that would prove dangerous.

…Hundreds of rioters carrying long guns and Molotov cocktails breached the seat of American power — some with the clear intent of injuring, holding hostage or even killing federal officials to stop them from certifying the vote.

…Law enforcement and other officials were aware of the chatter and took some steps to try to reduce the chances of violence. Homeland security officials put tactical agents on standby in downtown Washington. The F.B.I. questioned neo-Nazis who were under investigation and planning to attend the demonstrations.

…Chase Jennings, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, said in the days leading up the breach at the Capitol, the agency “had open channels with partners and shared information on those channels.”

…The Justice Department was treating the event as relatively peaceful, officials said. The acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, worked on Wednesday from his office rather than the F.B.I. war room, where the crisis response unfolded.

…“The evidence is starkly clear that the momentum of violence has shifted to the right in this country. We’ve seen this in city after city,” Mr. Eddy said. “There was a failure among law enforcement to imagine that people who ‘look like me’ would do this.”

…Lawmakers had no clear evacuation plan and were forced to improvise.

Mr. Crow said he moved other lawmakers away from the barricaded door inside the gallery, helped them don hoods to protect against tear gas, had them remove their House lapel pins to avoid being targeted and took out his only possible weapon: a pen.

After nearly 30 minutes, he said, the Capitol Police and unidentified SWAT team officers cleared a path outside the gallery, above the House floor, and hustled out the lawmakers.

With the police in the lead, guns drawn, the group stumbled through the mayhem, Mr. Crow said. Some police officers rushed to barricade other doors to block the mob. Others pinned some rioters to the ground to allow the lawmakers to pass.

Because of efforts to restrict the number of people in the chamber, several lawmakers and aides were sheltering in their offices, scattered across the complex. Some were not contacted by the police, even as they barricaded themselves inside.

…On the Senate side of the Capitol, the rioters came perilously close to lawmakers. As they approached, a quick-thinking Capitol Police officer pushed one of them, then backed away, and the crowd chased him. The officer’s maneuver helped lead the mob away from an entrance to the Senate several feet away.

When the rioters breached the Capitol, Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, said a quick prayer.

As he and the other senators made their way out of the chamber to the basement, an officer urged them to hurry because the rioters were on their heels.

“‘Move quicker, people,’ the officer said. ‘They’re right behind.’ It was serious,” Mr. Cramer recalled.

Out of immediate danger, senators took roll call. Four were missing, including Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, who uses a wheelchair after sustaining injuries in Iraq. She had barricaded herself in her office.

Mr. Benedict [of ATF] connected with a commander of the Capitol Police SWAT team who was inside the complex, who acknowledged that they needed immediate help but said he needed a moment to arrange the official request.

A.T.F. and F.B.I. teams were soon headed to the Capitol. Neither bureau trains its agents for crowd control or riots, and they would have to find a way in, where they could help clear the Capitol and rescue staff members and employees.

When Mr. Benedict and his deputy finally got into the building, it was madness, he recalled. Clouds of noxious gas — bear spray, he guessed, from rioters — floated through the halls. With the help of a Capitol Police officer, they helped usher their teams through a growing crowd of rioters on the building’s south side.

…Thirty-three miles away, in Annapolis, Md., Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, was on a video conference call with the Japanese ambassador when his chief of staff rushed into his office, telling him, “The Capitol is under attack.”

The governor’s phone rang minutes later: a call from Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader.

…He says, ‘Governor, I’m in a room with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. We need help. What can you do?’”

By then, the mob had breached the security outside the building, and Ms. Bowser and her staff members had begun making urgent calls to mobilize larger numbers of D.C. National Guard troops and move those already in the city to the Capitol. In the days before, Ms. Bowser had requested only a relatively small contingent of 340 D.C. National Guard troops, and only to control traffic and help protect public transportation stops, an effort to avoid the militarized federal presence that had been a major factor in the protest response in June.

One of the calls was to Mr. Hogan, asking the governor to dispatch Maryland National Guard troops to the city. 

…Mr. Hogan’s phone rang. It was Ryan D. McCarthy, the secretary of the Army and the de facto head of the D.C. National Guard. He asked whether Maryland troops could come immediately.

“I said, ‘Yes, we’ve been waiting,’” Mr. Hogan recalled.

Ms. Bowser was having similar problems. Even during the phone call when Chief Sund said he needed National Guard troops to beat back the rioters — a request the mayor and her staff members figured would immediately prompt an order of reinforcements — Pentagon officials would not commit to sending them.

…“We are not denying the request,” the general insisted. But, he added, he would have to seek approval first. The phone call ended.

Inside the mayor’s command center, where officials recalled the debacle in June when the military sent a helicopter to Black Lives Matter protests, frustration turned to anger.

…Inside the besieged Capitol, lawmakers were making their own urgent requests to the Pentagon. Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan and a former defense official, called Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to plead for help from the National Guard.

…Ed Roessler, the police chief in Fairfax County, Va., was driving when his phone rang at 2:27 p.m. A deputy told him that a request for help had just gone out over the police mutual aid radio system used by law enforcement agencies in the Washington region. He was stunned.

…About 40 Fairfax County officers were quickly deputized by an official from the United States marshals and sent to Washington. At the Capitol, they assembled in a wedge formation and went inside, where they helped push out rioters.

Then they stood guard while officers from other agencies built a larger security perimeter around the Capitol.

…Other requests for help went out, and the Capitol Police also sought assistance from the Homeland Security Department, but not until more than an hour after the rioters had surrounded the Capitol and the police had first fired what appeared to be flash-bang grenades.

When the request came at 2:30 p.m., the Secret Service deployed both uniformed and special agents, according to Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary of homeland security, the parent agency of the Secret Service.

……Finally, at about 3 p.m., Mr. Miller decided that all available D.C. National Guard soldiers — 1,100 troops — would be deployed.

…“Josh Hawley started the whole thing, and all who assisted him, they’ve got to be held accountable,” Mr. Manchin said.


FBI, NYPD told Capitol Police about possibility of violence before riot, senior officials say

As evidence mounts that some extremists had told the world what they had in mind through social media, questions are emerging about whether the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies took the postings seriously enough — and why, if they did, they didn’t step in until well after the building was under attack.

…”Prior to this event, the FBI obtained credible and actionable information about individuals who were planning on traveling to the protests who expressed a desire to engage in violence,” the senior FBI official said.

…The official added that “the FBI and our federal, state and local partners collected and shared available intelligence in preparation for the various planned events.”

“The FBI was prepared to adapt as needed to fluid events on the ground, including having rapid response teams in reserve,” the official said.

…The official wasn’t in a position to explain why D’Antuono, the head of the Washington field office, said there had been no indications of violence.

…New York police, who have the most robust intelligence collection and analytical arm of any local police agency in the country, sent law enforcement agencies across the country — including Capitol Police — an intelligence packet describing threats and violent rhetoric on social media in the weeks and days leading up to the rally, multiple senior law enforcement officials said.

The officials said Capitol Police were given a specific and separate intelligence report describing extremist rhetoric and threats of violence that appeared on social media in connection with the rally.

…A private intelligence report issued in December, obtained by NBC News, said the “‘million-MAGA march’ in Washington DC on 6 January is the next major flashpoint … the mass event (which will be held in the National Mall and outside the Capitol) is likely to spark street violence.

…The FBI is also under scrutiny. Its top investigative priority is terrorism, foreign and domestic. Had this been an al Qaeda plot to storm the Capitol, some experts said, it is likely that the FBI would have arrested the participants before they left their home airports on the way to Washington.

…Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney for northern Alabama, said the FBI has tools to monitor potential violence by domestic extremists. She suggested that the issue was one of emphasis and will.


Inside the Capitol siege: How barricaded lawmakers and aides sounded urgent pleas for help as police lost control – The Washington Post

“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” Trump tweeted. “Be there, will be wild!”

…A cacophony of screaming, shouting and banging echoed from the floor below. McConnell’s security detail rushed past and into the chamber. The adviser began walking toward the Rotunda and came face to face with a U.S. Capitol Police officer sprinting in the opposite direction. The two made eye contact and the officer forced out a single word: “Run!”

The aide to McConnell (R-Ky.) darted down a side hallway lined with offices. He jiggled one locked doorknob, then another. A co-worker poked his head out of the office of McConnell’s speechwriter. The adviser lunged, pushing him and a colleague back inside.

…Three senior GOP aides piled furniture against the door and tried to move stealthily, worried that the intruders would discover them inside. In waves, the door to the hall heaved as rioters punched and kicked it. The crowd yelled “Stop the steal!” Some chanted menacingly, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”

Peering out a window into a courtyard below, the adviser could see scores of people still streaming in — and no police in sight.

…A terrifying reality was taking hold — the Capitol police had lost control and no one was coming to save Congress, at least not right away.

…Armed only with their phones and some of the best Rolodexes in the world, lawmakers and their aides began calling and texting anyone they thought could help — the secretary of the Army, the acting attorney general, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, governors of nearby states, the D.C. mayor.

…[An advisor] reached out to former top officials at the Justice Department.

Speaking in a whisper, he told one the situation was dire: If backup did not arrive soon, people could die.

…The president added: “If you don’t fight like hell,
you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

…Lofgren’s aides could see outside that a ragtag group of rioters had been able to climb atop the risers and the platforms.

Neither Lofgren nor her staff could reach the Capitol police chief on the phone, she later recounted.

…Waters placed an urgent call to Sund, who was at Capitol police headquarters two blocks away, two law enforcement officials said.

Protesters were already crossing the plaza. “What are you going to do about it?” Waters asked. “We’re doing the best we can,” came Sund’s reply, she said, and then the line went dead.

Waters was unsure if the call had dropped or if Sund hung up. She turned to a staffer: “That’s not a plan.”

…Irving was placing a call to a law enforcement association that can organize mutual aid from county and state police forces in suburban Maryland and Virginia, according to people in the room. The request was brand new, and it would take an hour or two for any officers to arrive, Irving was told. A Democratic aide and a Republican one in the room looked at each other in surprise.

At that point, Irving began talking about bringing in the National Guard. While a few hundred D.C. National Guard members had been activated and were elsewhere in the city, the two aides realized there was no arrangement to pre-stage military assets to help at the Capitol.

In fact, a small quick-reaction force at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland had been assembled by the Defense Department to assist if needed — but it did not immediately respond because of a lack of a prior planning with Capitol police over how it might be deployed.

…A handful of Capitol police officers had been backed into a corner, under the scaffolding holding up the inaugural stage. One was pulled down a set of stairs and then beaten and kicked while he tried to cover his head, according to footage of the incident.

Atop the stairs, another had his helmet ripped off as he tried to hold up the last remaining metal barrier before the crowd could flood into the building. A person in the mob sprayed something at an officer. Another lifted a hammer above his head as if preparing to throw it, and then instead began striking at the barrier, where officers were holding it with their hands.

…At 2:14 p.m., Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) had begun his speech objecting to Arizona’s electoral college results. As he spoke, Pelosi’s protective detail agents hustled her away.

…Plainclothes Capitol Police officers dragged a desk to use as a barricade in front of the door that presidents enter to deliver the annual State of the Union address.

On the other side [of the chamber], rioters began breaking small windows. The officers inside drew their guns.

Dozens of rioters pressed against police trying to block their entry into the Speaker’s Lobby.

…Several officers left their post seconds before much heavily armed reinforcements showed up. But in those few seconds, the rioters smashed in the windows of the doors to the Speaker’s Lobby and were on the verge of entering the House chamber.

…Eight Pelosi staffers trapped inside their suite barricaded themselves inside a staff conference room, and huddled together under the table in the middle, hoping that the protesters who had already broken down one door — and were rummaging through materials and shooting selfies with their feet up on an executive assistant’s desk — wouldn’t make it any farther inside.

The vice president hurried out a door.

At that moment, one floor below, rioters had crashed through windows and climbed into the Capitol and clashed with police, including a lone Black Capitol police officer who tried to prevent them from ascending toward the Senate chamber.

For almost a minute, the officer held them back — at the exact moment that, inside the Senate, police were frantically racing around the chamber trying to lock down more than a dozen doors leading to the chamber floor and the galleries above.

“Second floor!” the officer yelled into his radio, alerting other officers and command that the mob had reached the precipice of the Senate.

At 2:16 p.m., Bobic tweeted a photo of a half-dozen police confronting the protesters.

According to the contemporaneous notes of a Washington Post reporter inside the chamber, it was mere seconds of a differential: “2:15 p.m., Senate sealed.”

Back in the barricaded room with McConnell aides, one staffer began snapping photos through a window. They could see Trump supporters streaming toward the building — and just four police officers.

The FBI official had been hearing radio traffic of aggressive protesters pushing through the perimeter, but Levi said it had gone even further: The mob had already crashed the gates and lives were at risk.

Capitol police had said previously they didn’t need help, but Bowdich decided he couldn’t wait for a formal invitation.

He dispatched the first of three tactical teams, including one from the Washington field office to secure the safety of U.S. senators and provide whatever aid they could. He instructed two more SWAT teams to follow, including one that raced from Baltimore.

…“Get their asses over there. Go now,” he said to the first team’s commander. “We don’t have time to huddle.”

From their secure locations, meanwhile, Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) made calls for help to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

“Ralph, there’s glass being broken around me,” Northam recalled Pelosi saying. “I’ve heard there’s been gunfire. We’re just very, very concerned right now.’”

…At 3:42 a.m. Thursday, Pence affirmed Biden’s victory as the next president.


Black Capitol Police Officers Describe The Racism They Faced

The first glimpse of the deadly tragedy that was about to unfold came at 9 a.m. on the morning of the insurrection for one Black veteran of the US Capitol Police. But it didn’t come from his superiors — instead the officer had to rely on a screenshot from Instagram sent to him by a friend.

..Management’s inaction left Black police officers especially vulnerable.

…Black officers who described a harrowing day in which they were forced to endure racist abuse — including repeatedly being called the n-word — as they tried to do their job of protecting the Capitol building, and by extension the very functioning of American democracy. The officers said they were wrong-footed, fighting off an invading force that their managers had downplayed and not prepared them for. They had all been issued gas masks, for example, but management didn’t tell them to bring them in on the day. 

…“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs, in two different locations.”

…The officer even described coming face-to-face with police officers from across the country in the mob. He said some of them flashed their badges, telling him to let them through, and trying to explain that this was all part of a movement that was supposed to help.

“You have the nerve to be holding a Blue Lives Matter flag, and you are out there fucking us up,” he told one group of protesters he encountered inside the Capitol. “[One guy] pulled out his badge and he said, ‘We’re doing this for you.’ “

…On the steps to the Rotunda on the east side of the Capitol, he was engaged in hand-to-hand battles trying to fight the attackers off. But he said they were outnumbered 10 to 1, and described extraordinary scenes in which protesters holding Blue Lives Matter flags launched themselves at police officers.

…“They’re telling us they are on our side, and they’re doing this for us, and they’re saying this as I’m getting punched in my face by one of them … That happened to a lot of us. We were getting pepper-sprayed in the face by those …domestic terrorists,” said the officer.

“Our chief was nowhere to be found, I didn’t hear him on the radio. One of our other deputy chiefs was not there,” he said. “You don’t think it’s all hands on deck?”

…“I got called a nigger 15 times today,” the veteran officer shouted in the Rotunda to no one in particular. “Trump did this and we got all of these fucking people in our department that voted for him. How the fuck can you support him?”

Jeezus Krreyest


James Clyburn says “somebody on the inside” of Capitol was “complicit” in letting rioters inside the building

“They knew where to go. I’ve been told … by some other Congress people that their staff are saying that they saw people being allowed into the building through side doors. Who opened those side doors for these protesters, or I call them these mobsters, to come into the building, not through the main entrance where magnetometers are but through side doors. Yes, somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this.”

Clyburn also said he felt something was “amiss” Wednesday morning when he arrived at the Capitol and “the perimeter had not been established.” 

“There were no security people on the steps. They were all out in a place which I thought gave low security,” he said, adding, “They were not just derelict. You could say they were complicit.”


Obama: You lose people with ‘snappy’ slogans like ‘defund the police’

Former President Obama said political candidates lose support when using “snappy” slogans like “defund the police.”

…Obama told Peter Hamby, who hosts a Snapchat political show “Good Luck America,” that those who use the slogan could jeopardize their goals of enacting meaningful reforms for police.

“You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,” the former president said.

…”The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?” Obama added.

mmmhmmm. Exactly, you self-absorbed, self-important, self-defeating shmucks.

GTTF testimony draws link back to drugs looted from Baltimore pharmacies in 2015 riot after Freddie Gray funeral

On Thursday, a Baltimore bail bondsman said a member of the city’s Gun Trace Task Force arrived at his home with two trash bags full of looted prescription drugs amid the April 2015 riots and looting.

The testimony on Thursday, in which Donald C. Stepp said Sgt. Wayne Jenkins made near-nightly trips to Stepp’s county home to drop off drugs, adds an additional layer to our understanding of the looting of pharmacies and businesses in the hours after Freddie Gray’s funeral.

GTTF testimony draws link back to drugs looted from Baltimore pharmacies in 2015 riot after Freddie Gray funeral – Baltimore Sun

Dirty, corrupt cops stealing and selling drugs.
No wonder Baltimore is such a shit show!

June 2 George Floyd protest news


“I am from Brooklyn. I happen to represent a huge swath of central Brooklyn and when I heard there was a group of folks protesting police brutality I decided to make my way down,” he said.

…Once he arrived, he alerted police of his presence, and wore a neon green shirt with his name and title on it.

Trying to protect some of the protesters behind me. Being compliant. I started getting hit in my back by bicycles wielded by the police officers. I was pushed. I was shoved. Ultimately pepper-sprayed, and subsequently handcuffed. 

He said it took a little while for law enforcement to realize who he was — and he was finally released and given medical attention.

But this treatment was “only because of my title,” he said. “Had I not had the luxury of my title, I would have been in the system and processed, much like any of the other protesters.”

June 2 George Floyd protest news


How the Karen Meme Confronts History of White Womanhood | Time

“One of the things that has worked throughout American history is finding a way to project whiteness in need of defense or protection,” says Dr. André Brock, associate professor of Black digital culture at Georgia Tech whose research is leading the conversation on the impact of Black Twitter. “For men, it’s a fight; for women, it’s calling men to help on their behalf or demonstrating that they are so frail that they cannot handle the weight.”

…In a larger sense, the mainstreaming of calling out the danger that white women and their tears pose has been building up to this moment. There’s the oft-cited stat that 52% of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the constant lies of white women like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in service of the Trump Administration have made it abundantly clear that white women can and are often complicit in oppressive systems. Coupled with the rise of social media and the smartphone camera, the longtime narrative of white women as helpless victims in need of protection is now being challenged by video evidence of them as instigators of not only conflict, but violence.

…The historical narrative of white women’s victimhood goes back to myths that were constructed during the era of American slavery. Black slaves were posited as sexual threats to the white women, the wives of slave owners; in reality, slave masters were the ones raping their slaves. This ideology, however, perpetuated the idea that white women, who represented the good and the moral in American society, needed to be protected by white men at all costs, thus justifying racial violence towards Black men or anyone that posed a threat to their power.

…“White women are positioned as the virtue of society because they hold that position as the mother, as the keepers of virtuosity, all these ideologies that we associate with white motherhood and white women in particular, their certain role in society gives them power and when you couple that with this racist history, where white women are afraid of black men and black men are hypersexualized and seen as dangerous, then that’s really a volatile combination.”

Williams says the exposure is challenging this position. “That’s part of what people aren’t seeing is that white women do have this power and they’re exercising that power when they call or threaten to call the police.”

…“The fact that Amy Cooper is saying, ‘I’m going to call the police and tell them that a African-American man is threatening my life’ is a very racially violent statement and a racially violent act, especially if you look at it in a larger, broader historical context, and think about the way that Emmett Till’s accuser [Carolyn Bryant] did the same exact thing and it resulted in his death.”

How the Karen Meme Confronts History of White Womanhood | Time