By Sienna Lapointe
Graphic By Veronica Genkin
On January 6, 2021, supporters of former president Donald Trump gathered in front of the Washington, D.C. Capitol, which first began as a peaceful protest to dispute the results of the electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election. Before noon, large crowds of Trump supporters gathered in front of the Capitol as Trump prepared to go onstage to deliver his speech. Soon after, Trump told his supporters to walk to the Capitol, so they followed. “You have to show your strength,” he said.
Capitol Police arrived to help control the crowd. According to The New York Times, “About 20 minutes before Trump’s speech ended, some people in the Capitol crowd harassed officers posted at the barricades and started to get physical. Others followed suit, until they violently overwhelmed the police and breached the building’s outer perimeter.”
Rioters on the west side broke into the building around 2:15 p.m. Two minutes later, as they reached the stairs next to the Senate chamber, the Senate was called into recess. Rioters continued to enter the building by breaking a window and entering through the door, on the northwest side. More than five minutes after the first rioters broke into the building, the House also went into recess. All of Congress was evacuated.
The mob became very violent and started dragging and beating officers. Rioters chased an officer to the top of a staircase where there are entrances to the Senate chamber in both directions. The officer only had a baton. Explosives were found.
Five people died from the events that took place at the Capitol, while dozens more were injured. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was beaten, a rioter was shot, and three others died during the rampage.
Three Las Lomas freshmen expressed their opinions on this attack. “The people storming the capitol had no reason to, other than the fact that their candidate did not win. It was inhumane, disgusting, and this definitely proves white supremacy to be true,” says Natalie Puttavon.
Lily Doherty said, “The people who chose to do that put a lot of people’s health at risk and put some political leaders in scary situations.”
“The storming of the capitol has changed my mindset on America and its citizens,” says Sydney Liao. The storming of the capitol was a horrific moment in history that left many Americans shocked and disturbed.