Capitol Hill Riot: Aftermath and Consequences


Courtesy of CNN

A picture taken on January 6 at the Capitol. Although the riot has passed, it is still a shocking for many of us that this occurred at the Capitol.

Eunice Ahn, photojournalist

The Capitol Hill Riot happened on January 6, and although the situation has calmed down, there are still investigations about people who attended and illegally trespassed inside the building. What exactly happened at Capitol Hill, and what were the aftermaths faced after this riot?

On January 6, Congress had gathered at the building to certify the electoral votes. However, the meeting soon became chaotic with Trump supporters outside the building rioting. The situation then escalated with people clashing against the police to the point where a mob grabbed a police officer and dragged them down a set of steps, beating them up with an American flag (Newsweek). The police officer was not the only one beaten up, as other police officers were dragged down and also beaten up with poles of the American flag and Trump flags (Newsweek). It has also been reported that a 42-year-old police officer named Brian Sicknick passed away due to injuries during the siege. It is said he was hit by a fire extinguisher on the head (Newsweek). In total, five people, including Brian Sicknick, sadly passed away (NBC Washington).

The rioters eventually made their way inside the building, and some people started to take pictures inside. In total, thirteen people have been identified and arrested by the FBI for federal crimes, and approximately 40 people have been arrested and charged in the Superior Court with other offenses that include unlawful entry, firearm-related crime, etc ( Some key arrests include Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett, Adam Johnson, and other people (CNN). 

Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett is the man who was seen in a picture sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk with his feet on her desk. He was also captured carrying an envelope from Pelosi’s office claiming that he was not stealing it but taking it because there was his blood on it (CNN). He was charged with knowingly entering the building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and theft of public property (CNN). He is right now in FBI custody, according to the sheriff’s office in Benton County, Arkansas (CNN).

Adam Johnson is also seen in a different picture carrying Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. He was arrested in Florida and was charged with one count of knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, theft of government property, and a count of violent entry and disorderly conduct (CNN). He was released on a $25,000 signature bond and is subject to a monitoring system and curfew, the surrender of firearms and passport, and on January 19 is due in federal court in Washington (CNN).

Some other consequences that followed the riot were Trump’s ban on multiple social media sites. He is now permanently banned on Twitter, with Twitter stating that what Trump is tweeting will lead to future violent actions (Axios). He is also now banned on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for similar reasons as to why Twitter banned Trump (Axios).

Of course, not all Republicans supported the riot. Mitt Romney released a statement on January 6 saying that what had happened on Capitol Hill was an insurrection. He further said that what these rioters had done was shame the democratic system and this event will be remembered as a shameful event. He went on to say that he urged his fellow Republicans to move on with the electoral counts and to affirm the legitimacy of the presidency (CNN). Vice President Pence also condemned the Trump supporters telling them, “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now.” He went on to say that the citizens have a right to do a peaceful protest, but the attack on the Capitol is not tolerable and the people will be punished (NY Post).

What happened on January 6 was not a happy day. It was a day filled with chaos at the Capitol. Elias Cortes (11) said, “Personally, I believe that the actions taken to break into the Capitol were certainly at the very least unlawful. Regardless of those individuals’ political views and or beliefs, it seems clear to me that the actions taken by those individuals to forcefully enter the Capitol building amidst the certification of the state electors were a great disrespect to the democratic republic that is our nation. Thus, I think that the action taken by the rioters at the Capitol in Washington D.C. was disgraceful. On another note, I think some of the words said by President Trump probably fomented the violent rioting that occurred, although I don’t think that he, at all, intended to inspire violence.” 

Everyone has the right to protest, but a violent riot is definitely not the way a mob should express their dissatisfaction.