The double standards of the police force


Vivian Landis, Editor in Chief

When comparing Black Lives Matter protestors and Capitol riotersit’s quite clear that the two groups of people received very different treatment. After the horrific events that played out in our nation’s Capitol, there’s no denying that our country is greatly divided.  

On January 6the nation watched as a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Thousands of people had previously gathered in Washington D.C. on January 5 to urge former Vice President Mike Pence to reject President Joe Biden’s victory 

The protests took a turn for the worse after Trump spoke at the “Save America” rally. The former president incited violence after spewing false election claims and telling his supporters to “fight like hell.  

After being encouraged, many people who had attended the rally walked to the Capitol where they met more supporters. Soon what seemed to be an ignorant demonstration turned into a violent attempted coup. 

After the crowd breached the police barricades, it was clear that a riot was beginning. Once past the blockade, the mob filtered through the Capitol. They vandalized and looted the building while others enacted violence on police officers and reporters. 

The horror continued to grow as rioters searched the Capitol for lawmakers that they wished to harm. Things like explosive devices were also found within the building. It comes as no shock that many members of Congress feared for their life during those terrifying hours. 

CongresswomanAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram Live as well as Twitter to speak out about her experience at the Capitol. Ocasio-Cortez reflected on how she hid in her bathroom after hearing banging on her office doors. 

While taking shelter Ocasio-Cortez heard the commotion of people entering her office and their shouts of where is she”. In that moment Cortez thought that her life could be coming to an end. 

If this was the journey that my life was taking, I felt that things were going to be okay. And that you know, I had fulfilled my purpose.” said Ocasio-Cortez.  

Despite the horrendous events that were unfolding at the Capitol, the rioters experienced little to no backlash from policeIt appears some officers were even in on the rioter’s plansVideos of officers opening the barricades for the Trump supporters and officers taking photos with the rioters circulated the internet on the exact day of the attempted coup. 

Trump again made it clear that he was a part of the insurrection when he refused to call in the National Guard as well as when he called the rioters “very special” in a Twitter video. 

There was such a stark difference between how Capitol rioters and Black Lives Matter protestors were treated. People protesting for their lives were met with massive amounts of opposition while those who tried to overturn democracy were barely met with a slap on the wrist. It’s clear that a change in the policing system is needed now more than ever 

Over the summer people took to the streets to protest the deaths of Black people who had died at the hands of police brutality. According to CNN 93 percent of protests were peaceful, yet demonstrators were still met with an overwhelming amount of opposition. Tear gas and rubber bullets were just some of the things that the police used against protestors.  

Vienne Kemper, 12, attended a protest on 72 and Dodge over the summer. While there, she saw protestors passing out milk, water bottles, hand sanitizer, and masks. Everything seemed very tranquil. 

It was pretty peaceful up until the bulk of the police got there and started trying to disperse the crowd. That’s when things started to get worse. said Kemper.  

Witnessing the violence firsthand at the protest she had attended gave Kemper insight on just how aggressive the police force can get. Seeing the treatment of the Capitol rioters made Kemper quite embarrassed for the country. 

“As much as I can say without actually experiencing being at the Capitol, I think it was absolutely atrocious, I think it’s disgraceful, I think it’s very indicative of the problems within the police force related to race. said Kemper. 

Jabin Moore, a senior at the University of Nebraska Omaha and an alumnus of North High, helped clean up the city with his friends after certain protests. After seeing the media mainly focus on the riots, he wanted to show that there were people protesting peacefully.  

We thought it was necessary to have two sides to where we showed that, you know, we are angry, and we are frustrated, and we want change but also that we are able to do this in a manner of respect and integrity. said Moore.  

The difference in how the media covered the two events is also vastly differentMany of the Black Lives Matter protestors were deemed rioters because of the few times that certain protests had broken into violence. Yet when a group of white supremacists broke into the Capitol to overturn an election, some called them protestors. 

“I think language is very important because you know when you’re calling something as horrendous as we saw on that day a protest, I think you’re allowing for more of that to happen. said Moore.  

There were many indicators that hinted at the fact that the rioters at the Capitol had no intention of being peaceful. 

I think that it is really important to point out all of the symbols that we saw there. With the Confederate Flags, and the anti-Semitic symbols, as well as the noose and gallows that hung there. The Confederate Flagfirst of allrepresents, you know, opposition to everything that we know and love today. It’s just very violent and very horrific imagery to have at a protest.” said Moore. 

After analyzing all the appalling imagery that was displayed at the Capitol and all the violent acts that were committed, much of the country has concluded that what happened was not a protest.  

An insurrection can be described as a violent uprising against an authority or government. We can use this word to describe exactly what happened at the Capitol. 

“I think it’s good now that everyone has reached the consensus of being okay with calling them terrorists and rioters, actual weighty terms not just protestors. stated Kemper.