y Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Thousands of President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Electoral College vote.
Carrying Trump banners and American flags and chanting “Stop the Steal,” the protestors blasted their way into the hallowed halls, shoving Capitol police who attempted to beat back the mob by unleashing pepper spray.
The protestors pushed back and successfully breached the building at several locations.
Once the protestors were inside, security hustled Pence away, and members barricaded themselves in various offices.
Gunshots also rang out in the hallway near the chambers, and windows were shattered throughout the building. An unidentified woman inside reportedly was shot in the neck. Her condition is currently unclear.
The National Guard joined the Secret Service, FBI, Capitol Police, and D.C.’s Metropolitan Police at the scene.
Nearby agencies from Virginia and Maryland also were called to assist.
The protestors then chanted, “We Took the Capitol.”
The situation unfolded during what historically had been a peaceful transfer of power in which the Electoral College votes are certified in a joint session of Congress.
However, just before the joint-session, Trump led a nearby rally and urged his supporters to show their anger at the Capitol.
The President’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani called for “a trial by combat” against lawmakers who were certifying the Electoral College votes.
“I could never have imagined a day like this,” Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama and one-time mayor of Chicago.
“Never could you have imagined seeing the security of the U.S. Congress not only being breached but threatened with their lives like this,” Emanuel remarked during a live interview on ABC News.
After watching African American protests the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, many Black communities called law enforcement’s response tepid at best.
“So imagine Black folk was in this mix,” Public Enemy frontman Chuck D remarked. The “Don’t Believe the Hype” superstar then posted a video of the Capitol’s unrest.
He questioned: “Would they drop a bomb on ’em like Wilson Goode did.”
“As a part of both Million Man Marches in D.C., we aired differences to the world knowing that we were watched,” Chuck D continued.
“A brother didn’t even take a piss on a tree. Yet, all the Nation of Islam and Minister Louis Farrakhan has gotten was grief and misinformation from many factions here in the U.S.A.”
Tracy Fredericks, one of Chuck’s followers, replied: “We [Black people] would never have made it inside the Capitol Building.”
Added Morgan Cherry, a District-based political activist: “These Trump supporters, who are about 99.9 percent white, have gone where no Black demonstrators could have gone. Ambush the Capitol Building.”
Dr. Ebony Hilton, a prolific physician at the University of Virginia, asked why there were no arrests.
“Where are the handcuffs? Where are the arrests? Where is the tear gas?” Dr. Hilton demanded.
“Did we use up all of the rubber bullets at the peaceful Black Lives Matter rallies because our Capitol Building is under siege? When are law and order going to show up?”
Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) called on officials to bring in the National Guard to secure the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi eventually did just that.
“I’ve never seen anyone be able to breach the Capitol like this,” Bass stated. “The President of the United States incited this riot, and someone needs to go over to Pennsylvania Avenue and arrest him.”