capitol riots

Double Standards in Policing: Comparing Reactions to Unrest at U.S. Capitol

The day after riots at the US Capitol many are wondering just how the group was able to accomplish some of their efforts and the double standard in policing tactics.

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Madness and mayhem was the scene in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The day after, many are wondering just how they were able to accomplish some of their efforts and the double standard in policing tactics.

How does this compare to the events of the summer? According to Forbes, 52 people were arrested Wednesday. On June 1 alone, 289 people were arrested, during the height of the racial justice protests in D.C. That's more than five times the number of people on the day the Capitol was stormed. 

"It’s a double standard on both of those regards. Why didn’t you think they were a threat and when they enacted the threat why was it not properly handled?" said Dr. Danielle Cooper, associate professor of criminal justice and director of research at University of New Haven.

Cooper elaborated on what she calls the systemic double standard of aggression with law enforcement.

"We knew that there was going to be unrest yesterday and to know there was not preparation to stop people from coming in and to see once they came in really the magnitude of damage that they caused and that it did not lead to any sort of escalation, and just to be clear I mean detainment."

Tim Hollister who lives in West Hartford said he spent some time working in D.C and that he was shocked watching Wednesday riots.

"Forty years ago I worked on Capitol Hill," Hollister said. "You would think that the Capitol police would not just have had steel doors but all sorts of defenses ready, especially when there’s a big protest with some armed people outside."

But Cooper reiterated that this isn’t anything new and that double standards are woven into our nation's history.

" When we look at historic movements and current movements there is a robust amount of data and evidence that has been ignored," said Cooper, "Even in this moment we're still fighting for the opportunity to be represented in investigations, to make it to court to hold our victimizers accountable in many of these instances."

President- elect Joe Biden weighed in with a statement on Twitter, saying, “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable."

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