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  • Skyla Jewell-Hammie

UPDATE: Black Attorneys Report "Clear Disparity" in U.S. Capitol Insurrection

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

The Department of Justice Association of Black Attorneys (DOJABA) sent out a public statement on January 15th condemning the “clear disparity” present within the Capitol riots.

On January 6, 2021, the U.S Congress’ duties were cut short due to the storming of the Capitol by extremist groups. Many of the people who chose those privileged actions were left largely unscathed.

DOJABA’S mission statement highlights the need to “bring to the attention of the Attorney General or other appropriate officials…practices and/or policies that may be inconsistent with the objectives [of the Department].”

DOJABA decided to come out with this statement because of the lack of policies and practices in place. Their statement is a calling

“The entire world witnessed the forcible breaking and smashing of windows, the violence against law enforcement, the violence against the press, the description and ransacking of Congressional members’ offices, and the vandalism and defacing of property inside the Capitol,” the statement explained.

Furthermore, DOJABA’s mission reflects what the Black community was feeling while watching the looting unfold; these privileged people were able to violently break windows while smiling for selfies with Capitol police. On the other hand, BLM demonstrators last summer were met with complete riot gear, tear gas, and rubber bullets. Let us not forget the gruesome pictures and videos of people lying on the ground from rubber bullets shot point-blank.

“DOJABA urges the Department to investigate and address these disparities, which support what many have long feared: that the fair and impartial enforcement of the law does not apply to Black Americans,” the statement reads.

Many who partook in the Capitol riot, or had comments about it, consistently believe that the dangerous insurrection is identical to the peaceful demonstrators during BLM protests, but that comparison needs to be halted.

The BLM protests that happened last summer was about human rights. Protesting decades of systemic racism is not the same as becoming sad over a lost election. The “patriotic” duty that many of these Capitol rioters have is nothing other than ignorance and enough privilege to show their faces while an intentional attack leaves a Democratic institution in shock.

According to the Associated Press, much of the unrest started after the death of Minneapolis native George Floyd. Floyd was wrongfully treated by law enforcement when videos surfaced of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck with his full weight. What happened after George’s death was the devastating result of the pain of not being heard, or appreciated by people who are supposed to protect you.

The worst part of this; Trump incited these violent attacks on an institution he is supposed to respect. Before the rioters barged into the Capitol with confederate flags, Trump encouraged them to “fight like hell.”

In a powerful statement, DOJABA explains the “stark contrast” of policing people of color and their white counterparts.

“The stark contrast between the gravely deficient number of law enforcement and military assets at the Capitol last week as it became engulfed in mob violence and the vast number deployed all over Washington, D.C. last summer during the racial justice protests reminds us that there is much, as a nation, we must face and change, including how aggressively people of color are policed as compared to their white counterparts,” the statement from DOJABA voices.
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