Friday, January 08, 2021 by Nolan Barton
President Donald Trump asked his supporters to keep calm and cooperate with the authorities as Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew following a chaotic incident at the Capitol.
“Please support our Capitol Police and law enforcement. They are truly on the side of our country. Stay peaceful,” Trump said in a tweet.
Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Bowser’s order stemmed from a reported breach and lockdown of the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) confirmed the lockdown on Twitter.
I’m currently in lockdown in the House chamber as the President of the United States incites his supporters to violence and to storm the Capitol. This is the outcome of Trump’s presidency.
— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) January 6, 2021
The curfew runs from 6 p.m. Wednesday (January 6) to 6 a.m. Thursday (January 7). Alerts about the curfew were sent to phones across the District of Columbia.
“During the hours of the curfew, no person other than persons designated by the mayor shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park or other public place within the District,” Bowser’s order said.
The order won’t apply to essential workers, including media employees with company-issued credentials.
Earlier, demonstrators broke into offices of lawmakers and vandalized properties at Capitol Hill. They crowded halls inside the Capitol building and climbed over chairs. Some made it inside the Senate chambers. Shots and chemical irritants were fired.
One person was reportedly shot and killed during the commotion while at least three others were injured and taken to the hospitals. (Related: Woman shot by Capitol police after ramming barricades was on psychiatric drugs, antidepressants.)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating reports of two suspected explosive devices, though both have been rendered safe. The incident also raised questions about how demonstrators managed to force their way inside the Capitol and whether there was enough law enforcement presence in the vicinity.
“In my experience in 50 years in law enforcement, this is unprecedented,” said John Magaw, a former Secret Service director.
“The coordination of security has virtually fallen apart. We are watching the deterioration of law and order in the U.S. It just becomes chaos. I don’t see any sign that the current president is going to stand up and lead like presidents have led in the past,” Magaw said. “Our democracy is on the edge of a cliff.”
Some lawmakers immediately made their feelings known about the incident.
“Violence and anarchy are unacceptable. We are a nation of laws. This needs to end now,” wrote Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Twitter.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was more diplomatic: “Thank you to Capitol Police for protecting the People’s House. Protesters have a Constitutionally-protected right to be heard, but I urge them to remain peaceful.”
The chaos at the Capitol abruptly ended the debate in the joint session about whether to certify Joe Biden’s election win. The Democrat won the popular and electoral vote, but a number of Republicans had moved to object the certification process.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed the two chambers would reconvene and resume proceedings Wednesday evening at the Capitol once it is cleared for use.
Even before the demonstrators entered the scene, the joint session was already off to a fiery start.
Pence opened the proceedings in his constitutional role as president of the Senate. In a statement, Pence said that while he shared the concerns about the “integrity” of the election, it was not correct that he should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally.
Dozens of House representatives and one senator objected to the electoral votes for Arizona, which led to a debate and eventual vote by both chambers. About an hour later, the House and the Senate were locked down. The lockdown lasted nearly four hours.
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