Four Dead, Over 50 Arrested In Capitol Hill Violent Protest

The violent riot in Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon has led to the death of four people and arrest of over 50 people in a clash between the police in a bid to stop Joe Biden’s certification.

One of the protesters identified as Ashli Babbit was shot in the chest when she and others breached the security perimeters at the Capitol.

Speaking with a San Diego news outlet KUSI, Babbit’s husband described his wife as a 14-year veteran who he described as an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.

Ashli Babbit The 14-year Veteran shot in Capitol Hill
Ashli Babbit The 14-year Veteran shot in Capitol Hill

He said his wife served four tours with Air Force as a ‘high-level security official’, and a ‘great patriot to all who knew her’.

The shooter is unknown, however, the Metropolitan Police Department in DC has commenced an investigation into the fatal shooting.

Videos and witness accounts suggest that she may have been shot while climbing through a broken window near congressional chambers. 

Three other protesters also died in Capitol grounds, according to Politico. The deaths were related to unspecified ‘individual medical emergencies’.

NBC reported that a man was stabbed outside the Trump International Hotel, a few blocks away from the Capitol.

While the city has placed a 6pm citywide curfew, National Guards are on ground to help enforce it. Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters remained on Capitol grounds as lawmakers halted their certification.

A total of about 50 people have been arrested – 30 people arrested as of 11 pm for breaking curfew while more than 15 others were arrested for protest-related activities, according to a police statement.

The police said they found two pipe bombs at the headquarters for the Republican and Democratic National Committees, and a truck willed with long guns and Molotov cocktails were also discovered and removed.

Mayor Muriel Bowser immediately declared a state of emergency in the city which is expected to last for the next 15 days until the inauguration.

As the protest went sideways, Mr Trump posted a video urging his ‘very special’ supporters inside the Capitols to ‘go home’, while assuring them of his love.

The President and his sons had earlier encouraged the supporters to match to the Capitol after holding a rally in the afternoon.

Members of the House and the Senate returned to the floor at 8 pm after hours-long recess due to the violent protest and breach of security.

Vice President Mike Pence described the violent protest as ‘day day’ in the history of the United States Capitol.

Pence added ‘But thanks to the swift efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol is secured and the people’s work continues.’

Despite reports of death and destructions outside, some Republicans, in the astonishment of the Mitt Romney and Democrats, continued their bid to overturn the election result.

Republicans from Arizona and Pennsylvania objected but both were overruled by the majority vote.

Republicans in the House also attempted to object the result in Michigan, Nevada and Georgia but failed to garner support.

Pennsylvania’s vote ended just before 1 a.m, virtually bringing the 12-hour certification saga to a close, DailyMail reports.

The uncontrollable situation started around 3pm, immediately after Mr Trump addressed his thousands of supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol.

The supporters got the word out via far-right social media sites, including Gab and Parler, giving hints on the best routes to take to avoid police.

Some rioters occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office as they shout ‘Trump won that election’.

As they breached the police barricade, members were quickly handed gas masks as tear gas was fired into the Rotunda.

Photos of officers at the front door with weapons were drawn in case the protesters break through the door were shared on social media.

As the protest got out of hand, Mr Trump took to his Twitter to calm their nerves, saying ‘stay peaceful’. 

‘Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!’ the president wrote.’

Trump tweeted: ‘I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!’ 

Meanwhile, the President-elect Joe Biden who later addressed the country said ‘At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times.’

The President-elect described the situation as an ‘assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it’.

‘I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward.’

Mr Biden televised speech said the event ‘bordered on sedition.’

‘At their best, the words of a president can inspire,’ Biden added. ‘At their worst, they can incite.’ 

Minutes after, Mr Trump posted a video on Twitter urging his supporters to ‘go home.’

‘There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,’ He said in a video that was restricted for comment on Twitter.

‘We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.’

Twitter, Facebook and Youtube later removed the video, saying it violated their policies.

Again Mr Trump followed the video up with a tweet reiterating his earlier claim that the election was stolen, and encouraged the already violent supporters to ‘remember this day’.

‘These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,’ he tweeted.

‘Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!’

Twitter removed the tweet for violating its rules. 

Before the protest, Pence had distanced himself from Trump who had repeatedly called him to block confirmation by congress of Joe Biden’s election as the 46 presidents of the United States.

Pence said in his three-page letter addressed to members of Congress on Wednesday that he disagreed with Trump that a Vice-president has the power to reject some Electoral College votes for a candidate.

He said, “It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

While Pence shared “the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of this election,” he argued that “vesting the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide presidential contest would be entirely antithetical to” system of check and balances as enshrined in the Constitution.

“The Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone,” Pence wrote.

“When disputes concerning a presidential election arise, under Federal law, it is the people’s representatives who review the evidence and resolve disputes through a democratic process.”

 

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