Zach Petrizzo

What it was like to see Capitol Police shrug in the face of Trump rioters

Cops literally shrugged when asked.


Zachary Petrizzo


Published Jan 7, 2021   Updated Jan 27, 2021, 4:28 pm CST

U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police turned a blind eye to the pro-Trump vigilantes who ransacked the Capitol building on Wednesday. It was a sight that was jarring to see, which the Daily Dot witnessed in person.

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At one point nearing dusk at 5:00pm ET, Capitol Police could be seen, in footage taken by the Daily Dot, retreating from their position from attempting to clear the House of Representatives chamber of President Donald Trump’s followers.

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A Capitol Police sergeant didn’t answer the Daily Dot’s question about why they were retreating, but one officer, when asked about the disparities of force yesterday versus the force they dispatched during Black Lives Matter protests, simply shrugged his shoulders.

Meanwhile, late into the afternoon hours, Trump supporters vandalized and jumped on a Metro PD SWAT vehicle.

“Let’s go!” one Trump supporter yelled while on top of the armored vehicle.

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As a violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters seized control of the Capitol, the Daily Dot stood there to cover the scene. This was no antifa false flag operations like conservatives are now claiming. Instead, it was the culmination of months of increased tension with further incitement from Trump on Wednesday. And it was with a complicit police force allowing the rioters to move through Congress unabated.

Shortly before 1:00pm, pro-Trump vigilantes stormed the Capitol grounds, which led to an hours-long standoff with Metro PD and Capitol Police, who stood down to Trump supporters mob rule.

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The effort to restrain them was halfhearted at best.

The Trump rioters who flooded the Capitol were a who’s who of the far-right. Members of Nick Fuentes’ white nationalist groyper army, far-right Three Percenters, and the hate group the Proud Boys were all among those destroying property.

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As our nation’s capital was under siege and members of Congress were scared for their lives—rightfully so—we saw cops dole out free passes to white Trump supporters who destroyed federal property.

Imagine if those protesters were Black, Indigenous, or people of color. The police would have tossed them to the ground and filled busses up to send them to jail.

Instead of arrests, Capitol Police took selfies with the pro-Trump vigilantes.

And when asked about it, the best they could muster was a shrug.

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In 2020, we saw Black Lives Matter activists in Washington, D.C. quickly get scooped up and arrested by law enforcement. Yesterday Trump vigilantes attempted to overthrow the government and were barely slapped on the wrist.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, a Trump supporter told a crowd of rallygoers near the outside of the White House perimeter they should “come back with your rifles” tomorrow.

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Although we’ve always known the difference in treatment by police forces when it comes to race, to see it play out in such stark fashion, on such hallowed American grounds, is not a sight that will soon be forgotten.

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*First Published: Jan 7, 2021, 11:12 am CST