Trump Supporters Encroach the Capitol Building, Sparking Riot

On January 6, 2021, the Capitol building in Washington D.C was raided by Trump supporters who hoped they could change the presidential election outcome. Hundreds of Trump supporters breached the gates of the Capitol and forced their way in. After this chaotic day in American history, officials and administrators tussle to configure ways to restore peace and prevent this incident from ever occurring again.

Joe Biden’s presidential victory against Donald Trump on November 7, 2020 inspired this attack. Immediately after his victory, Trump supporters declared that voter fraud played a significant role in Biden’s success. Approximately 70% of republicans were incredulous and sought conclusions to their speculations. According to BBC, Trump supporters believed there was voter fraud due to the fact that there were allegedly shredded ballots in Georgia. Later, Fulton County Elections Director Robert Barron  explained that the speculated shredded ballots were just waste from letter opening machines used to cut open envelopes.

Despite the newfound disproof of their theories, Trump supporters desired to protest the election at the Capitol, perpetually standing by their claims. Anek Sahota, an American Legion Boys State Delegate believes the attack on the Capitol was instigated by political officials. Sahota states, “In my perspective the biggest influence that led to this attack on the Capitol was instigation by political members and other well known public figures. For example, Donald Trump saying ‘Let’s march down to the Capitol and make sure they hear our voices…’”

To add to this, the rioters attempted to breach the building on this particular day due to the fact that the electoral votes were being reviewed in the House. Sahota confirms that the riot took place to halt the progress of Biden’s election procedure, saying, “The rioters were attempting to tamper with the electoral votes being recounted in the Congress house. They wanted to send a message to the government and the public that they will not rest until Trump wins the election.” This motivated those upset by the outcome to plan a riot in front of the Capitol. Hundreds of Trump supporters bombarded and poured into the establishment with a plethora of Pro-Trump merchandise, pushing Capitol police in efforts to invade or break into the building. The attack expeditiously became violent because the rioters were breaking the windows, climbing over private walls, and ignored the Capitol police who were attempting to conciliate the growing crowd. As this occurred, the Capitol police tried to relocate the larger riot groups away from the Capitol using tear gas.

Meanwhile, as the officers worked to fend off the rioters, Congress members huddled under chairs and were told to wear their gas masks to protect themselves from the tear gas filling the atmosphere. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez described that her colleagues and herself ducked on the floor in the House Chambers while Chamber security and police had their guns pointed to the doors where protestors banged on repeatedly. It took nearly 5 hours for the members to be released from the House Chambers and extraction points to ensure the members were safe and away from dangers.

Once the attack elapsed, the damage was reviewed and those who died as a result of violence were assessed. 5 people were killed in the midst of the attack for reasons ranging from strokes, heart attacks, fighting, and being beaten or overpowered. The question on whether the attack was terroristic surfaced during the process of the FBI attempting to locate the perpetrators. Sahota claims, “This demonstration was intended to be peaceful but quickly the frustrated protesters turned to violence to get their voice heard. Since they raided the Capitol this technically was an act of Domestic Terrorism. ”

In order for these types of attacks to be avoided in the future, officials are working to increase the amount of security at governmental gatherings. Apprehension heightened around the time of President Joe Biden’s Inauguration because of the fear that a riot would partake once again. Officials demonstrated growth and development in security by employing over 25,000 National Guard members. The Capitol was also encircled with towering fences, blocking out those who may threaten peace. Now, administration tenaciously works to unify the country once again but Sahota bluntly says, “The attack demonstrated a major divide in a country known for its unity.”