“We will never give up. We will never concede,” Donald Trump bellowed to his faithful followers, “We will stop the steal!”. As the crowd showered the lame-duck Republican President with the adoration he so craves, he added more fuel on their unfounded embers of rage, “We will not let them silence your voices,” he said. “We’re not going to let it happen.” Then it happened, the most powerful man in the world lit a match, “We are going to walk down to the Capitol…Because you will never take back our country with weakness”. The resulting explosion rocked the country with all-out chaos on Capitol Hill. After the smoke cleared, two bombs were found, four lives were lost, and 52 Trump rioters were arrested.
After Trump ignited a fire that has been burned into the history books of the United States, he returned to the safe confines of The White House; his followers did not. The raucous crowd marched to the Capitol and obeyed their leader’s earlier command to “Be Wild.” Trump had exhausted all of his options to win the presidency. He lost the popular vote, the electoral vote, and all of his court challenges. The deluded businessman thought the only way to preserve his waning power was to stop a ceremonial vote count physically, and his followers blindly following his lead stormed the Capitol.
As thousands of rioters descended upon them, both houses of Congress were forced to evacuate as they prepared to certify President-Elect Joe Biden‘s Electoral College win. The attack on the Capitol escalated quickly, with officers scrambling to prevent swarms of people from entering the building before eventually being overrun. As windows shattered, offices ransacked, and the seat of democracy was being violated, a shot rang out, and a rioter fell, later dying.
The rioter who was shot and killed was a 14-year Air Force veteran, QAnon supporter, and Trump follower, Ashli Babbitt. The MAGA believer was shot by a Capitol officer who feared for his life as she allegedly refused to heed numerous warnings and tried to break into a barricaded area with a flag pole. Police said three other people — a woman and two men — died after apparently suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol grounds.
Fourteen officers sustained injuries during the rioting, with one officer pulled into the crowd and assaulted, resulting in serious injuries that required hospitalization. Police also recovered two pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. In response to the riot, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a curfew for the District beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Police began securing the perimeter around the Capitol Building at 7:15 p.m., issuing verbal warnings to many of the hundreds remaining in the area after the curfew had gone into effect. Undeterred, and perhaps emboldened by the president’s video response to the riots where he stated the election was stolen from them, he understood their actions and that he loved them, many MAGA supporters refused to abide by the curfew. In total, police made 52 arrests, including four for carrying guns without a license and one for possession of a prohibited weapon. Twenty-six of the 52 arrests were made on Capitol grounds.
The ‘Law & Order’ president sat idly by as the Capitol descended into anarchy; mob rule took over, hollowed ground was desecrated, and lives were lost. The world may never understand why Trump incited a riot, but it may be just as simple as the classic quote by Michael Caine, “Some men just like to watch the world burn.”