Black officers describe their experiences during Capitol Riots
'There’s quite a big difference when the Black Lives Matter protests come up to the capitol,' said one officer
In an exclusive interview with Buzzfeed News, two Black Capitol police officers shared their experiences fighting off racist pro-Trump supporters in Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol.
According to one Black veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, he received no sufficient warning of the nature of the violent protests from his superiors, but did receive information from a friend who sent him an Instagram screenshot.
The Black officer chose to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from upper management, but expressed that officers were outnumbered and unprepared.
“I found out what they were planning when a friend of mine screenshot me an Instagram story from the Proud Boys saying, ‘We’re breaching the capitol today, guys. I hope y’all ready,” the officer told Buzzfeed News.
In a series of sobering viral videos, a Black officer can be seen struggling to hold back the rioters who entered the Capitol building looking for Congressional members.
According to Buzzfeed News, the two Black officers said they were repeatedly called the n-word as they were trying to protect the building. They were all issued gas masks, but weren’t ordered by their management to bring them.
Some footage revealed officers opening barricades and allowing rioters to overtake the building and many of the intruders wandered the halls with costumes, pipe bombs, and zip-tie handcuffs intended to aid in the capture of Congress members.
The officers said they quickly realized just how much their superiors downplayed the group.
“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us. They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flashbangs…they were prepared,” said the veteran officer who worked for the Capitol for more than a decade.
“They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military.”
Another Black officer, a newer recruit, told Buzzfeed News that he was forced to engage in hand-to-hand battles with rioters, but said he was outnumbered as they held Blue Lives Matter flags and forced themselves through police officers.
“We were telling them to back up and get away and stop, and they’re telling us, they are on our side, and they’re doing this for us, and they’re saying this as I’m getting punched in my face by one of them. That happened to a lot of us. We were getting pepper sprayed in the face by those protesters, I’m not going to even call them protestors, by those domestic terrorists.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!