The Hypocrisy of Police Response

Chan Mi Park, Scribe Editor

On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters from a Trump rally proceeded to breach the capital and barge inside the capitol building. The restraint that police displayed toward domestic terrorists at the capitol on January 6, exposes the deep-seated issue of racism in our corrupt justice system. Juxtapose that response with the quick, and often aggressive, actions that police took against BLM protestors. Comparing the two reactions reveals troubling racial bias in policing and especially the use of force. 

Now, look back at the riots and protests for BLM over the summer, which involved more people of color. Then, the police did not hesitate to utilize rubber bullets, tear gas, riot gear including tactical armor, shields, and excessive force against rioters and nonviolent demonstrations alike.  At the time, cities mobilized the entire police force against these “threats.” Observing the difference in mobilization from police against actual domestic terrorists at the capitol, reveals the racial influence in policing. In many recorded instances, police willingly aided these terrorists, highlighting the hypocrisy of the situation.

Rioters aside, even BLM protestors employing their first amendment rights were met with harsh criticisms, labels such as terrorist, and brutal police violence. Whether it be a protest inciting a violent situation or a peaceful protest, police response consisted of forceful responses. With protestors at risk of violent treatment, the public voiced their opinions on the unnecessary force utilized to maintain peace.

Fast forward in time and now we no longer hear the cries of protestors, rubber bullets fired, and policemen running from the tear gas they employed. We now see displayed across every screen running the news stations, Proud Boys, various neo-nazis, QAnon believers, and general Trump supporters taking down the American flag, vandalizing, and looting the state capitol building. These groups were actively dishonoring the seat of our democratic government without any reservations, even going so far as to parade the confederate flag. During all this chaos, law enforcement was almost invisible. Suppressed and left to their own devices without any backup by leaders and decision-makers, law enforcement was rendered helpless. With a system immensely rooted in racism, policing reflects both the decisions of corrupt leaders and the vulgar actions of these police officers who enjoy partaking in racism. 

The clear hypocritical actions of the police represent not only a faulty and corrupt system but also a system deeply intertwined with racism. With both leaders and police officers in the system willingly accepting the flaws of the system, minorities are against all odds when it comes to securing their safety from the people who are supposed to protect them. If there is no change done to the police system and the policy-makers who influence policing, it will continue to fail many more American citizens in the future. By structuring society with societal changes on top of a faulty foundation corroding with corruption, improvements may never come. The capitol raid was more than a riot, it serves as an eye-opener to the public as to how far corruption had rooted itself in a system meant to protect everyone.

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