January 6th, 2021 has been a day closely watched since the election concluded in November as it would be the final bastion for Republican party members to cry fraud. While dozens of court cases, headed by many Republican justices, shot down Trump and the GOP’s claims, it did not stop the president from calling for a protest on the day Congress would officially certify the election.
As the counting of Electoral College votes started in the early afternoon in Washington D.C. many pro-Trump protesters gathered around Capitol Hill.
Four layers of security fences had been placed around the Capitol building and adorned with local law enforcement.
Soon, protesters chanting slogans claiming a fraudulent election pushed their way through the barricades and onto the lawn of the Capitol building. Law enforcement pushed back but were soon overwhelmed, some even pepper-spraying officers in retaliation.
MAGA protesters are spraying pepper spray back at police on Capitol Hill pic.twitter.com/9TeqRefjZq
— Tyler Kingkade (@tylerkingkade) January 6, 2021
Just as conservatives called out the riots, rhetoric and behavior from groups on the left throughout 2020, this too should be condemned.
This is a riot — doesn’t matter what side you’re on.pic.twitter.com/ZBWo2CnvNi
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) January 6, 2021
After only three states had been certified protesters began to smash windows and vandalize the Capitol building, shoving their way past law enforcement and into the building.
BREAKING: #Trump Supporters Break Glass windows at Capitol, trying to storm in.
Building on lockdown, session in recess and situation escalating: pic.twitter.com/3tVNntPNXv
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 6, 2021
#BREAKING: Senators pause Electoral College debate amid Capitol Hill protests.
Aide to Sen. James Lankford: "Protesters are in the building." pic.twitter.com/GNOCrtpAuN
— The Hill (@thehill) January 6, 2021
Protesters breaching the front doors caused an immediate lockdown of the hearing for the Electoral College votes while members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence were immediately evacuated. Protesters wandered the lobby chanting “stop the steal.”
Crowd chanting “Stop the steal” outside House chamber pic.twitter.com/aAmyp7oCPI
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) January 6, 2021
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) January 6, 2021
Wondering what the response would be if the protesters had been African Americans? Or muslim Americans? USA is no longer 'United' 🤷🏻♂️#WashingtonDC#CapitolBuilding #Capitol #CapitolHill pic.twitter.com/mJ5FTCIQMT
— 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐡𝐣𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐚𝐧𝐚 (@meshahjahanrana) January 6, 2021
Donning emergency gas masks, media and congressional workers were evacuated through an underground tunnel, away from the scene.
Above ground, members of the mob continued to push further into the building, now banging at the barricaded door of the House Chamber. Capitol Police had drawn guns and soon rioters would break the window which lead to a series of events that caused Capitol police to open fire. Reports of a female protester being shot in the chest surfaced shortly after. The female who was shot is now reported dead.
They’re outside the chamber now. Security has guns drawn.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) January 6, 2021
At this point, protesters roamed the rest of the building freely and even began to take selfies with the very law officers they had clashed with.
Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists. pic.twitter.com/EjkQ83h1p2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 6, 2021
Others in the mob began rummaging through desks and even took up momentary celebratory poses at the lectern of the Senate floor and in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
BREAKING NEWS (CNN): Trumpist Domestic Terrorist Breaks Into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Office, Leaves Threatening Note pic.twitter.com/c6pS5X8ZHk
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 6, 2021
At this time Trump had yet to speak to the public other than a tweet asking for peace. As the now riot escalated, Joe Biden took to television to condemn the actions and call on Trump to make a statement to the protesters that Trump had invited into the Capitol himself.
“The words of a president matter,” Biden said in a rebuke of the events. “At their best, the words of a president can inspire, at their worst, they can incite.”
Joe Biden condemned the actions at Capitol Hill today
"This is not dissent, it's disorder. It's chaos, it borders on sedition." pic.twitter.com/OhdX8V7DFY
— KGO 810 (@KGO810) January 6, 2021
VP Mike Pence took to Twitter to denounce the riot and President Trump soon published his own video telling protesters to go home.
Soon Virginia national guard would descend onto the Capitol building and regain control of the Senate Chambers and the building. Tear gas and flashbangs were reportedly used on the rioters.
Update at 4:10pm ET:
Armed FBI officers just walked through the Longworth House Office Building.
An unbelievable site on Capitol Hill. pic.twitter.com/WVaTxsVATS
— Taylor Popielarz (@TaylorPopielarz) January 6, 2021
Remaining rioters would continue to mingle in front of the building and would go on to harass a cluster of newscasters, beating and pushing over their equipment.
JUST NOW: protestors charging the media pic.twitter.com/cANlcv5CMP
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) January 6, 2021
D.C. is under curfew tonight as local law enforcement seeks to regain control of the area. Additional barricades are being erected around Capitol Hill and evacuated congressional members remain in an undisclosed location.
Trump loyalist with a Confederate flag beaten and arrested by police at the Capitol, without a glimmer of irony shouts, "You're all traitors". #CapitolBuilding #CapitolHill (📹@aletweetsnews) pic.twitter.com/KYHWgp5lmV
— Anonymous 👥 (@YourAnonCentral) January 6, 2021
Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, amongst many others, are calling for the count to continue this evening, to show strength against those who attempted to stop the certification of the Electoral College votes.