Perspective on preparation and response to DC Capitol rioters, potential discipline

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Washington, D.C. will continue to be under a state of emergency until after the inauguration. It comes after 52 people were arrested during Wednesday’s protests and riots. Two pipe bombs were also recovered, one at Democratic National Committee headquarters and another at Republican National Committee headquarters.

Violent protests at US Capitol: Timeline of events on morning of Jan. 7

There was also an increased law enforcement presence there Thursday.

Some have questioned the preparation and response in D.C., especially in contrast to Black Lives Matter protests. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS talked with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison about it.

"It was heartbreaking to see windows smashed and to see officers having to hold guns on the door to the House floor where I spent every day for 12 years, it’s unimaginable, but it happened, and there needs to be accountability and consequences," Ellison said.

"I think they’ll be looking at federal charges, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he continued.

"They’re not protesting an issue that people have been trying to address for literally centuries and decades in the country, they’re there to destroy and break things," Ellison said. "This issue of this election has been litigated over 60 times … This has been to court, legislatures have certified the results and sent them to Washington … For them to engage in violence and destruction, to vent rage, is absolutely unacceptable."

Politicians, public figures call out double standard in Capitol riots

Ellison asserted that individuals could face dozens of federal charges, including violation and desecration of federal property and potentially years behind bars.

"The people who did it should answer, the people who failed to protect should answer and certainly the people who ordered it all should answer," Ellison said.

Many people right now are comparing law enforcement’s preparation on Wednesday to June 2, when there were National Guard members on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial armed in camouflage gear, a stark contrast to what was seen Wednesday, when rioters were able to enter the U.S. Capitol. Many people on social media are describing this as example of white supremacy and white privilege.

"It certainly appears like it was disparate treatment … It appears to me that there’s sort of an ideological bias in favor of Trump supporters … My 57 years on this planet tells me that if an African American mob stormed the Capitol, broke the windows and broke in, that the response would be dramatically different," Ellison said.

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