…especially when compared to the response to BLM protests.
It was obviously no laughing matter — but the internet quickly branded the security surrounding Capitol Hill a joke.
As the smoke cleared from Wednesday’s disgraceful scenes, Twitter was left wondering how the House was so easily breached.
Many compared the heavy-handed militarized preparations and response ahead of and during Black Lives Matter protests in the exact same spot last year to this storming of the Capitol.
Others pointed out that Target stores appeared to get a more immediate response — and indeed triggered more outrage from some quarters — when they were looted during the 2020 protests.
More still pointed to the cases of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tamir Rice, shot dead while sleeping, jogging and playing, while armed aggressors appeared to go unchecked in Washington DC.
Further hypocrisy was highlighted as people recalled how kneeling for the National Anthem during football games was branded “disrespectful”, juxtaposed with a widely spread photo of one protestor cheerily stealing a Congress lectern from the chamber.
One particularly eyebrow-raising clip shot from inside the chaos, which has been viewed more than 7million times, appeared to show one police officer even posing for a selfie with one of the infiltrators:
Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists. pic.twitter.com/EjkQ83h1p2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 6, 2021
Another, shared by Megan Mullaly, Gabrielle Union, Jurnee Smollett and many, many more appeared to show officers at the barricades outside offering little to no resistance, rather stepping aside and simply letting the protesters parade through:
They let them in. They calmly let them in. https://t.co/tCmFLwQXw7
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 6, 2021
Never forget. https://t.co/a1PumgTYsd
— jurnee smollett (@jurneesmollett) January 6, 2021
FUCKING WHAT https://t.co/Q66nkpfyV5
— Megan Mullally (@MeganMullally) January 6, 2021
Perhaps the most jarring tweet of all was one calling for “Anarchists, Agitators or Protesters who vandalize or damage” Federal buildings to be prosecuted with minimum 10 years imprisonment… which was a retweet of President Trump’s own words during the Portland protests in July.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 6, 2021
BREAKING: Capitol Police have erected a Target sign in front of the White House and almost immediately protesters, rioters, and looters have stopped terrorizing the US Capitol and left. pic.twitter.com/IlyuwCRgGH
— nick (@pieper_nick) January 6, 2021
Capitol hill security when the “protesters” are white trump supporters pic.twitter.com/bNPm7NrMSd
— Avery Bolar (@AveryBolar) January 6, 2021
Police defending Capitol Hill against BLM
Police defending Capitol Hill against MAGA pic.twitter.com/f4ihUBMAS9
— Amir (@AmirAminiMD) January 6, 2021
Police outside Capitol Hill this afternoon pic.twitter.com/NzN9hbbdRv
— Tez (@tezilyas) January 6, 2021
— زاكاريا (@ZForZachariahh) January 6, 2021
— Harry Cook (@HarryCook) January 6, 2021
— QuaranKing (@DariusB44) January 6, 2021
Black folks can't enter their own homes as easy as these white folks stormed the Capitol #whiteprivilege
— Keith "It's almost over" Knight (@KeefKnight) January 6, 2021
The United State Capitol Police has an annual budget of approximately $460 million.
The Capitol Building today: pic.twitter.com/TbvdQVvVHi
— Complex (@Complex) January 6, 2021
How capitol police handled disabled protestors fighting against abolishing the ACA a few years ago: pic.twitter.com/yYFs4vz0PG
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) January 6, 2021
Let’s just be clear about something: The reason the Capitol police were slow to respond is because they gave these white people the benefit of the doubt and treated it like a joke. Their reaction isn’t the same because they see black people as a threat that needs to be eliminated
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 6, 2021