Dayton experts weigh in on handling of Capitol breach and Black Lives Matter protests

Chaos at the Capitol

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The breach of the United States Capitol Wednesday is shining a spotlight on the disparity in police response between the protests for racial justice and the riots to overturn an election. It’s left many people questioning if there is a racial double standard when it comes to exercising the right to protest.

“They should’ve been met with comparable force to what happened to Black Lives Matter when they showed up for the peaceful protest,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “In the videos I saw some number of capitol police almost helping them get in, and sort of escorting them. I’ve seen other videos of officers taking selfies with rioters, and these aren’t demonstrators, these are rioters.”

In 2020, protestors outside the White House seeking racial justice were met with tear gas, pepper balls, and batons. At the capitol this week, they were able to walk back to their hotels after breaching the United States Capitol.

“They weren’t ushered out. They weren’t arrested or put in handcuffs or twisties. They walked out on their own and that sort of surprised me,” said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a law professor at the University of Dayton. “To watch someone breach the Capitol Building, and then walk out…and some of them they were proud of themselves.”

“As an African American, I know that if I or any of my other brothers and sisters had ascended onto the nations capitol as such had torn down gates and started to break windows, we would have been shot on-site,” said Dr. Derrick Foward, President of the Dayton NAACP.

During Black Lives Matter protests last year, there were more than 14 thousand arrests. So far, there’s been 82 from Wednesday.

“A full investigation is still necessary. While we’ve seen misdemeanor and low-level charges so far they could really go up to insurrection, sedation, and potentially domestic terrorism,” said Glen Duerr, an expert of comparative politics at Cedarville Uninversity.

During a news conference on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden said if these were BLM protestors, “they would’ve been treated very very different than the mob of thugs that stormed the capitol we all know that’s true and it’s unacceptable.”

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