Among the many viral videos from Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol building is one where a police officer in riot squad gear appears to hold a woman's hand and lead her gently down the steps of the building in the midst of the attack. The video has sparked outrage, as social media users point out that this woman was among the rioters that wreaked havoc on the home of the U.S. Congress, yet seems to be treated gently. Some are trying to get to the bottom of this strange moment.
The video comes from live cable news coverage of the attack on the Capitol, when hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters broke into the building, ransacked the offices and threatened the lives of the elected leaders within. Yet amid that chaos, few arrests were made and only one insurrectionist was killed. Meanwhile, at least one woman in a "Trump" campaign hat was led gingerly down the steps by an armed officer, presumably after coming unlawfully close to the building, at the very least. Social media wants to understand why, and whole those officers accountable.
“We’re not asking you to shoot them like you shoot us we’re asking you NOT to shoot us like you DON’T shoot them!” Just gonna leave this with y’all!! Good night and God Bless! pic.twitter.com/XTsbGTBZS5— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) January 7, 2021
Reporters at the fact-checking website Snopes were able to verify the context of this video as it made waves on social media. It is not clear what happened to the woman before or after the clip, although law enforcement experts believe it is unlikely she was being detained judging by the officer's loose hold on her hands.
The gentle response from Capitol police throughout this attack has infuriated Americans in the aftermath of a historic day for the country. Many have compared their treatment to that of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, and find themselves wondering if the Capitol police just showed an extreme, dangerous form of bias — consciously or unconsciously. Here is a look at how the video is playing on social media days later.
Security for BLM vs Security for Trump's invited "guests." pic.twitter.com/QsF1RTWxKB— Essential Worker 🌊🇺🇲💙🍑✊💚 (@Essentialworker) January 7, 2021
How many BLM protestors did the cops hold hands with? https://t.co/EBlNvFq29h— jellenp (@jellenp) January 8, 2021
Dani, I have words...The person looks feeble. Maybe confused. Maybe handicapped. Maybe caught up in something they did not intend. IDK, but given the video of the person what would you have done? Pushed? Shot? Handcuffed? Seriously, what?— kevin-MA (he/him/US) (@Caoimhin_A) January 6, 2021
Lol no one remembers how brutal Standing Rock Protests got. This pic isn’t even the worst of it pic.twitter.com/cKStrv62gV— ᴮᴱ zaae ₇ —̳͟͞͞♥ (@ndnunnie) January 7, 2021
Other Gentle Moments
No words pic.twitter.com/dKd5xm6XMD— AreYouMadDog (@AreYouMadDog1) January 7, 2021
Remember how the elderly were treated at George Floyd protest ? There was no helping hand for Martin Guginohttps://t.co/Bw4jFjjK3V— Crustacean King (@CrustationK) January 7, 2021
Apparently, if you participate in an uprising invading the Capitol you get gently escorted outside holding an officer’s hand, but if you are an elder approaching some officers during a protest you get knocked to the ground
Note : the guy was hospitalized for almost a month pic.twitter.com/NWJf50ThWH— Zirael (@Ziraelzin) January 7, 2021
I am experiencing cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, I want the police to de-escalate violence. On the other, I'm witnessing abhorrent white privilege.— John Q McDonald (@jqmcd) January 6, 2021
they’re not even trying to hide it https://t.co/KUju6rQQU9— boobtoucher89 (@PleaseN07151097) January 7, 2021
i believe my eyes https://t.co/viv31Estkz— good luck chuck 🎰 (@yawningemoji) January 7, 2021