A viral video of Senator-elect Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) being arrested for praying in the Capitol has resurfaced following Wednesday’s riot, sparking a conversation about how police treat different types of protesters based on their skin color.
The video was excerpted from last night’s Rachel Maddow Show. It shows Warnock—the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church who just defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.)—leading a small group of people in prayer in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.
They’re praying against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the passage of a Republican budget proposal that would further disenfranchise Black communities.
As Warnock and the others kneel in the Capitol rotunda in prayer, police officers approach them.
“You are in violation of the law,” an officer tells them. “If you do not cease and desist at this time, you will be arrested.”
Police ultimately did arrest Warnock, along with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Pastor Cynthia L. Hale on July 18, 2017, according to Newsweek. They were later released.
At the time, Warnock called his arrest a “small price to pay” to petition on behalf of the “least of these."
“We will come again and again, as long as it takes, because there really is so much at stake,” Warnock says in the viral clip.
A Redditor shared footage of Warnock’s arrest on the r/publicfreakout subreddit last night, where it has since earned more than 63,000 upvotes. It has also been widely circulated on Twitter.
Many users juxtaposed Warnock’s arrest with the notable lack of police intervention during Wednesday’s Capitol riot, which has resulted in five deaths—including one officer—thus far.
Cher Davis tweeted, “Just seen the clip of Senator Warnock. I can't believe it. Arrested for praying, but for violent invasion of the US Capitol ... a selfie! Makes me so mad!!!”
Many Redditors noted that, despite the indignity of his Capitol arrest, Warnock would have the last laugh.
u/imthebeefboss put it succinctly: “How about that. Now he’s going to be working there.”