Tampa Black activists say Capitol police’s response showed double standard

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Black Lives Matter protesters from last summer are reacting to the mob scene in Washington D.C. Wednesday.

Many left asking the same question…why was the police response different than during the George Floyd protests than it was at the Capitol.

“I actually was amazed by the restraint,” said Larenz Johnson.

Johnson was baffled at the police presence, or as he believes, the lack thereof, in Washington D.C. when rioters raided the building and was mystified by how some seemed to just walk away without charges.

“It’s not that we want anyone to be hurt or injured, but it’s just amazing the double standard that seems to have taken place,” Johnson said.

Johnson was among hundreds of protestors who marched through downtown Tampa for several nights last summer and claims police even chased him at one point.

“It was amazing to me that in a local protest we can march peacefully downtown and be bombarded by police officers but they can desecrate and vandalize the nation’s Capitol and be met with such restraint,” Johnson said.

Corey Werckle with Black Lives Matter Tampa also marched during protests over the summer and said watching yesterday he was left frustrated by shots of Capitol police officers appearing to take pictures with protesters before the chaos began.

“The Capitol Police were absolutely complicit in some of the video of what I saw happening yesterday,” Werckle said.

Both Wreckle and Johnson agree it looked like the Capitol police were both understaffed and overwhelmed while also afraid there’s a reason why protests, just months apart, seemed to be handled so differently.

“It’s blatant. It’s definitely skin color,” Corey said.

The epic law enforcement failure in D.C. has left major fallout.

Late Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she’s seeking the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.

The House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, another key security official, had already submitted his resignation. He reports directly to Pelosi, while Sund answers to both House and Senate.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll fire the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger.

The breach halted the effort by Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

President-elect Joe Biden tweeted Thursday that the rioters who stormed the Capitol Wednesday would have been treated “very differently” than Black Lives Matter protesters.

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol,” Biden tweeted. “We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.”

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