A violent, potentially armed mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol today in an insurrection over the 2020 presidential election results. As of this writing, they have breached the building, smashed windows and pushed past security, and are banging on the doors of the US House chambers, where Congress had assembled to certify Joe Biden’s victory. At least one woman has been shot, according to CNN.
But, unlike the police response to the mostly peaceful protests of Black Lives Matter advocates this summer, today’s overwhelmingly white group of insurrectionists has faced comparatively little resistance from police. They were able to easily occupy the building—some carrying Confederate flags—despite the obvious danger they presented to everyone inside.
Observers on social media were quick to note the discrepancy in law enforcement:
There were reports of infrequent use of tear gas and rubber bullets by police, but not until the mob had already breached the Capitol grounds. The US National Guard is reportedly now being sent in to address the rioters, but further action had not been taken until several hours after they breached the building.
Donald Trump has tweeted sporadically in the last hour, tepidly asking the supporters he himself incited and inflamed to be peaceful. But there were no signs that his words did anything to quell the growing insurrection.