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07th Jan 2021

US Capitol: Four dead, 52 arrests, 15 days of public emergency declared

Anarchy and bloodshed at the heart of American democracy

Oli Dugmore

Trump supporters engage in an armed stand-off with law enforcement at the US capitol building

Anarchy and bloodshed at the heart of American democracy

At least four people are dead, one a victim of a shooting, 52 have been arrested and the Washington DC mayor has declared a state of emergency until January 21 – Joe Biden’s first day in office.

Terrifying scenes were broadcast from America’s Capitol last night as a violent pro-Trump mob stormed parliament, reaching the Congress floor and even Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offices.

Police confirmed four deaths at the scene and that one woman was shot dead by law enforcement as rioters breached the perimeter. The other three died because of “medical emergencies” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said in a press conference.

AP reports that both law enforcement and Trump supporters used chemical irritants in the siege and that the Capitol was cleared by Wednesday evening.

Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s general election victory. Proceedings were suspended during the siege but resumed later that day after police cleared the premises.

Just hours before the Battle of the Capitol Trump had addressed his fans at a rally in Washington DC telling them he would never concede, and waited hours after they’d breached the building to ask them to leave. Even in that video he told the violent mob “we love you,” reiterated that the election was “fraudulent” but asked them be peaceful and return home.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all introduced some kind of ban on Trump’s accounts for repeating his lie about election interference as well as inciting violence.

At least one improvised explosive device was found on the Capitol grounds.

A 6pm curfew was introduced in Washington DC by the city’s mayor Muriel Bowser. The National Guard, FBI and other law enforcement agencies were all deployed to the area.