As America attempts to recover from the Capitol riot, everyone from President-elect Joe Biden and NBA star LeBron James to members of the mainstream media such as Joy Behar and Joy Reid have vilified police officers for their role in the tragic event.
While Democrats and media members have waffled on whether or not riots are a good idea, they have remained consistent when it comes to criticizing cops. After months of calls to “defund the police,” the latest talking point is that U.S. Capitol Police would have acted differently if the rioters were largely Black.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol,” Biden wrote Thursday on Twitter. “We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.”
At least four people now face federal charges for their roles in the chaos. Officials previously announced the arrests of 82 individuals by state, local and federal authorities. Early Friday, the FBI’s Washington Field Office released 40 photos of people who are still wanted in connection with Wednesday’s events, which resulted in the death of a Capitol police officer. An officer killed one of the rioters and advanced digital technology is being used to hunt down the remaining suspects.
But Biden’s comments echoed criticisms by lawmakers, civil rights activists and professional athletes who called Wednesday’s attack an example of “White privilege,” as a crowd of what appeared to be mostly White protesters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to subvert the counting of the Electoral College votes.
“The View” co-host Joy Behar echoed Biden’s point and declared the riot showed “police are capable of restraining themselves” when confronting people who aren’t protesting police brutality.
“They know how to do it. We saw it. Not only that, many of them enabled these insurrectionists to go into the Capitol,” Behar claimed.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid took things further and claimed White Americans aren’t afraid of the police.
“White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they are committing insurrection,” Reid said. “Even when they’re engaged in attempting to occupy our Capitol to steal the votes of people who look like me because, in their minds, they own this country, they own that Capitol. They own the cops. The cops work for them and people like me have no damn right to try to elect a president, because we don’t get to pick the president. They get to pick the president. They own the president. They own the White House. They own this country.”
The far-left MSNBC host continued: “So when you think you own it, you own the place, you ain’t afraid of the police because the police are you and they reflect back to them … guarantee you if that was a Black Lives Matter protest in D.C, there would be people shackled, arrested, or dead.”
CNN has aired multiple segments with the same narrative and published an online story headlined, “Rioters breached US Capitol security on Wednesday. This was the police response when it was Black protesters on DC streets last year.”
ABC News anchors didn’t push back when a guest claimed Black Live Matter protests are largely “peaceful,” and the liberal HuffPost declared,” For Police, MAGA Insurrectionists Weren’t A Threat. Black Lives Matter Was.”
“Capitol Police are well-practiced at mass arrests. And they’ve earned a reputation for being unforgiving and cruel enough, for example, to drag disabled demonstrators from the halls of Congress for demanding affordable health care,” HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias wrote.
“So why did cops appear to stand down so easily as a MAGA mob laid siege to the Capitol? Why surrender so quickly to a horde of Red Hats, leaving them to urinate on the floor and loot offices, causing elected officials to flee into hiding? It’s a question numerous investigations will try to answer over the next months and years,” Mathias added. “But what the chaos in the capital on Wednesday has already laid bare is how law enforcement often uses a hands-off approach to white right-wing demonstrations.”
The theme has also made its way to professional sports. James, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who is arguably the face of the NBA, said the chaos at the Capitol made him think about how his Black relatives would be treated if they stormed a government building.
“If those were my kind storming the Capitol, what would have been the outcome? And I think we all know,” James told reporters. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts. We already know what would’ve happened to my kind if anyone would have even got close to the Capitol, let alone storm inside the offices, inside the hallways.”
James isn’t the only person from the NBA community to make this point. Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers reacted strongly to footage of a police officer taking a selfie with one of the protestors.
“It basically proves a point about a privileged life in a lot of ways. I will say it, because I don’t think a lot of people want to. Can you imagine today, if those were all Black people storming the Capitol, and what would have happened?” Rivers said. “That, to me, is a picture that’s worth a thousand words for all of us to see. No police dogs turned on people, no billy clubs hitting people.”
One lawmaker even suggested that Capitol Police could have ties to white supremacists:
Meanwhile, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund defended the response of his officers, but resigned from his position Thursday.
“Once the breach of the Capitol building was inevitable, we prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety,” he said in a statement. “Not one Member of Congress or their staff was injured. Our officers did their jobs. Our leadership did not.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall, Jake Gibson and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.