We have seen a lot of videos of the insurrection that took place on January 6th at the US Capitol building. Some of those images showed white people bearing confederate flags and Trump signs attacking an overwhelmed security force, some of them black police officers. The officers said that their superiors had not been ready for the assault and did not seem to have any plan of action, leaving it to the officers to improvise against overwhelming odds. This has led to a loss of confidence in their leadership. Two police officers have taken their own lives following the attack.
While some of the images from that day appeared to show officers standing by to let the mob into the Capitol building, the veteran officer said that they had fought them off for two hours before the attackers eventually gained access. The officer said that many of the widely spread images of smiling marauders, wandering the halls dressed in absurd costumes, had the effect of downplaying how well prepared some of the rioters were to overtake the building, and even to capture and kill Congress members.
“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. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the officer said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.
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.’ Another guy had his badge. So I was like, ‘Well, you gotta be kidding.’”
Another officer, a newer recruit, echoed these sentiments, saying that where he was 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.
“We were telling them to back up and get away and stop, and 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 protesters — I’m not going to even call them protesters — by those domestic terrorists,” said the officer.
Some of the officers say that they would not be surprised to learn that some members of Congress were behind the insurrection.
The radio program. This American Life had a show in which Felton spoke to black officers who had to confront the angry mob that was shouting racist slurs at them.The 13-minute program is well worth listening to.
I think that the US is on a knife edge at this moment, where a number of people in power are giving support to what is essentially an insurrection. These people seem to believe that the government is illegitimate and have no respect for democratic institutions. The question is whether these insurrectionists will feel emboldened enough to start a long-term guerrilla war against the government.