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Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images
Consequences are on the way for many in the D.C. police department for its handling of the Capitol riots on Jan. 6. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Law enforcement is under deserving fire after the attack on the U.S. Capitol

Capitol police are facing serious heat for how they treated domestic terrorists on Jan. 6.

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Two U.S Capitol Police officers have been suspended and at least 10 more are currently under investigation for their behavior during last week’s assault on the Capitol. Federal agents are also looking into the possibility that current and former law enforcement officers played a role in the riot.

According to Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, one of the Capitol police officers took a selfie with a member of the mob that overtook the Capitol, and another was sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat while directing people around the building. 

There was even footage that went viral on social media of some officers opening the gates and letting rioters in, as well as another officer holding the hand of a rioter so that she didn’t trip down the stairs on the way out. 

In a statement on Monday night, Jan. 11, Capitol Police acting chief Yogananda Pittman said that several officers were suspended. She said the department “has been actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies.” 

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, has raised questions about whether some Capitol police officers assisted the rioters and were complicit in the assault on Jan. 6. 

For example, Clyburn found it suspicious that the rioters knew the exact location of the offices of certain lawmakers. 

One officer in New York, one in Philadelphia, two in Seattle, two in Virginia and one in Texas are also under investigation by their departments for potential rule violations. 

Some departments have been contacted by the FBI as part of their criminal investigation.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, explained that a determining factor in the investigations will be what type of involvement officers had in the riots.

“There’s a big difference between walking down Pennsylvania Avenue and expressing yourself and going into a building where rioters pushed police and hit police and pushed them out of the way to get in,” he said. “That will be the question. They just came and they marched, versus did they go inside the building and become a part of a riot?” 

MSNBC Journalist Joy Reid eloquently broke down why so many white Americans felt comfortable filming themselves breaking property and sitting in Speaker Pelosi’s office amid the treatment by police. 

“They know that they are not in jeopardy because the cops are taking selfies with them, walking them down the steps to make sure they’re not hurt, taking care with their bodies — not like they treated Freddie Gray’s body,” she said. 

She further explained how white Americans are simply not afraid of the cops, even when they're engaged in something as unthinkable as violent insurrection, “to steal the votes of people who look like me.” 

Reid explains that in their minds, they have ownership over the Capitol and the cops. 

“So when you think about it, you own the place, you ain’t afraid of the police. The police are you, and the police reflect back to that. ‘We’re with you. You’re good. We’re not gonna hurt you, cause you’re not them,’” she said. 

The blatant display of white supremacy, white privilege and the cooperation on behalf of many Capitol police officers is appalling, and lasting repercussions must ensue. 

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