Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund rejected claims on Tuesday by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) that his officers were more lenient toward the Capitol rioters than they would have been to Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
The claim was made in the aftermath of the riot by many leading Democrats, including President-elect Joe Biden himself, who said, quoting his granddaughter: “No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter, protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.”
Biden added: “We all know that’s true and it is unacceptable, totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view.”
Padilla asked Sund: “I think it’s obvious to many, across the country … the difference in both police presence and response on January 6th, compared to events from last summer, when peaceful protesters were demonstrating in the nation’s capital in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Last summer, they were met with significant force.”
He said that 250 Capitol rioters had been arrested, but “only a small number,” about 52, were arrested that day.
“By contrast, during the largely peaceful [sic] protests of last summer, 427 people were arrested. On June 1st alone, 289 people were arrested.”
The “protests” in Washington, DC, were hardly “peaceful.” Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists attacked law enforcement officers at the White House with bricks and bottles; 150 were injured. They set fire to St. John’s Episcopal Church, across from Lafayette Square, and completely destroyed an historic structure in the park. They also assaulted journalists — including one from Breitbart News, who was attacked during the “peaceful protest” at the White House.
No “peaceful protesters” were killed by police in D.C. last summer; in contrast, Capitol Police shot and killed one rioter, who happened to be a white woman.
Padilla asked Sund whether the preparations and guidelines were different for January 6 than last summer’s protests.
Sund pushed back:
We plan for every demonstration the exact same way. Doesn’t matter the message of the person, doesn’t matter the demographics of the grievants involved in the demonstration. We do it the exact same way … I will tell you, we handled 15 major demonstrations involving Black Lives Matter groups, following the death of George Floyd over the summer. We had a total of six arrests — six arrests. No use of less lethal capabilities; no use of lethal force capabilities. The events, the — everything that we put into place for January 6 far exceeded any planning that we did for any events in 2020 … [or] any other event that I can recollect on the nation’s Capitol.
Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen wrote after the Senate impeachment trial, which featured video clips of brutal attacks on Capitol Police officers, that President Biden owed the department an apology. None has yet been forthcoming.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.