Capitol Riots, Police Response More Consistent With Agents Provocateurs than Protestors

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Police establish a line to hold back protesters as they gather outside the US Capitol's Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Image: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Police establish a line to hold back protesters as they gather outside the US Capitol's Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Image: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

The siege of the United States Capitol during the Jan. 6 Joint Session of Congress by hundreds of rioters was unquestionably a reprehensible act of anarchy and vandalism. While the narrative broadcast by big media in the aftermath of the events has put the blame squarely on the shoulders of both President Donald Trump’s allegations of widespread election fraud and his supporters, it is important to dispassionately take stock of what transpired. 

Historically, Trump rallies have been peaceful events where his supporters exercised their constitutional right to freedom of speech. As commentator Roger L. Simon said in an article published in The Epoch Times: “I have attended nearly two dozen Trump rallies over the years and not once — repeat, not once — have I seen any violence initiated by the president’s supporters towards persons or material.”

Simon doubted the narrative that Trump supporters had suddenly resorted to anarchy and violence. After all, the insurrection interrupted the first 30 minutes of congressional debate on objections to Arizona’s slate of Electoral College votes, precisely where Trump’s hopes for a second term lay.

“All the destruction is characteristic of BLM and Antifa (see Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Washington and on and on), not, until now apparently, Trump supporters.”

“Something fishy?” questioned Simon.

Agents provocateurs

Heidi Hatch, a reporter for CBS affiliate KUTV, a Salt Lake City local news channel, posted on her Twitter that John Sullivan, a 25-year-old who was arrested in Utah in June after a protest he was involved in led to a motorist being shot, was photographed at the front line of the riots where Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by Capitol Police.

Hatch posted a screen capture of Sullivan in clear view looking at Babbitt on the ground after she was shot. 

KUTV interviewed Sullivan about his experience, noting that he was founder of a self-described “civil rights group” called Insurgence USA. According to interviewer Jim Spiewak, Sullivan said he “aligns more with the Black Lives Matter movement and does not align with President Trump’s form of politics.”

Sullivan’s Twitter feed has a profile banner emblazoned with the logo of Insurgence USA titled “Kick These Fascists out of DC January 6th, 2021” and “Dump Trump for Good” with a time and location of 11:00 a.m. at the Washington Monument, a 30-minute walk from the Capitol Building.

John Sullivan’s Twitter feed profile: (Image: via Twitter)

Hatch also posted a screenshot of Sullivan’s Instagram account on Dec. 20 where he said: “We got to rip that MF out of office” underscored by #f—Trump, #blm, #antifa, among others.

According to a New York Post article, a “law enforcement source” told the paper at least two known Antifa members had disguised themselves in pro-Trump clothing and joined the rally as agent provocateurs.

A photo posted by Dr. Charlie Ward’s Twitter account appeared to show two Antifa members from the phillyantifa.org website posing for a picture in the halls of the Capitol. The men stood next to a man dressed as a Viking who has already been connected to a Black Lives Matter rally in Arizona last June. 

Some of the interlopers who broke into the Capitol Building. (Image: SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

Suspect response by Capitol Police

As for Babbit’s killing by Capitol Police, new footage (warning: graphic) was posted by Dan Cohen of Behind the Headlines showing the woman climbing on a locked door in an empty hallway before being shot point-blank by an officer through the glass on the other side. 

What is alarming about the footage is the new angle pans to show Babbitt’s dead body, revealing four or five armed Capitol Police officers behind her. The officers are amid the rioters, yet none are using takedowns on the crowd and no arrests are being made.

The position of the police behind Babbitt and their engagement with the rioters calls major questions of whether the use of lethal force was lawful.

In another video pulled from TikTok, police are shown clearly removing a barricade and allowing rioters to enter an undefined outdoor space while a man in a blue hoodie stands in front of the cameraman waving the crowd in.

Video posted to Twitter by Christina Bobb of One America News Network shows protesters being let into the Capitol with no visible resistance by police officers.

More irregularities with the Capitol Police response and their interactions with the rioters was revealed in a Twitter post by ROCK N’ POLITICS showing a single uniformed Police officer standing at a doorway against a crowd of unarmed men. 

The video is almost theatrical in nature as the officer turns around to pick up his baton, which is lying on the ground, before being chased down a hallway and up a flight of stairs. Both the officer and his pursuers act in a lackadaisical and unnatural fashion. 

The questions of who would be in position to take the video from an angle behind the officer and post it on Youtube without being taken down by police, as well as how any genuine insurrection could be either conducted so casually or handled so casually have yet to be answered.

In a seven-minute video, Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson offered his view on the Jan. 6 riots: “What happened Wednesday will be used by the people taking power to justify stripping you of the rights you were born with as an American: Your right to speak without being censored, your right to assemble, to not be spied upon, to make a living, and to defend your family.

“These are the most basic and ancient freedoms that we have. They’re why we live here in the first place. They’re why we’re proud to be Americans. They’re what make us different, and they’re all now in peril.”

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  • Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.