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B-N NAACP: Police Response To Capitol Riots Reveals White Privilege

Demonstrators and rioters outside U.S. Capitol building
In this set of photos, on June 3, 2020, demonstrators, left, protest the death of George Floyd at the U.S. Capitol in Washington; on the right, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier Jan. 6, 2021, at the same location.

UPDATED 5:00 P.M. | The Bloomington-Normal NAACP says the police response to the insurrection led by pro-Trump extremists on Wednesday shows the double standard that exists in law enforcement.

Branch president Linda Foster said African-Americans have been "tear gassed, water hosed and even threatened with dogs for lesser offenses."

“As you look at the different types of responses, it is so unevenly dispatched,” Foster said. "White privilege is real and must be dismantled. This is another wake-up call."

Linda Foster, left, and Carla Campbell-Jackson at WGLT.
Credit Eric Stock / WGLT
Linda Foster, left, and Carla Campbell-Jackson of the Bloomington-Normal NAACP said the police response to the U.S. Capitol insurrection shows a double standard in law enforcement.

A mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and quickly overwhelmed security in the riotthat coincided with Congress’ attempt to certify the results of the November election, when Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.

More than a dozen police were injured in the melee. One woman was shot and killed. Police arrested more than 60 people.

Lawmakers returned Wednesday evening to certify the election, a typically routine procedure that became a flash point given Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud and supporters' intent to “stop the steal.”

B-N NAACP branch vice president Carla Campbell-Jackson recalled seeing one officer help a rioter climb the stairs to the Capitol.

She compared the Capitol police response with racial justice demonstrations, including those in Ferguson, Missouri, over the 2014 death of Michael Brown at the hands of police.

“If you are going to utilize rubber bullets, in you are going to utilitize pepper spray and bring out the dogs, at Target or Walmart, then surely one would think when you have rioters entering the most sacred house in the nation, would you not use something comparable?” she asked.

At least six men linked to the racial justice protests in Ferguson died.

Foster called Wednesday’s insurrection an act of domestic terrorism, but said the unequal treatment of Black people goes beyond law enforcement.

“We are just fed up," she said. "We are tired of seeing it day in and day out the disparities among African American people of color."

Foster said she hopes the Capitol riot will bring these disparities into sharper focus so all Americans can work toward solutions.

Not In Our Town 

Not In Our Town Bloomington-Normal also issued a statement Thursday referring to “unequal force displayed toward people of color when they march” as “especially troubling.”

“Our democracy is founded on mutual respect and our ability to debate and share ideas through appropriate civic forums. This can include marches, protests, teach-ins, dialogues or multiple other ways to respectfully listen and learn from each other,” said co-chairs Camille Taylor and Mike Matejka.

The group also criticized the origin of the Capitol riots--an attempt to discredit a legitimate election.

“Individuals have a right to contest ideas in our common forum, but to continue to spread false claims about election fraud is an insult to our non-partisan election officials from the local to the state level,” the statement said.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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