An estimated 800 people stormed the Capitol on January 6 in a violent uprising to dismiss the results of the presidential election. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died. Many more were injured. On the day of the coup, we all witnessed the privilege and reluctance that law enforcement has shown towards white criminals. Some officers have already been given leave of absence because they showed up to encourage the mob. A single white insurgent was shot; If the mob had been mostly black, we would all have known the cops would have fired tanks, drones, and a barrage of bullets.
Now we’re seeing the same racial permissibility from the Justice Department and the FBI. Riley June Williams, the white woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi’s laptop During the riot last week, she was released into her mother’s custody pending a trial. Eric Munchel, the “tie guy” who showed up to the Capitol ready to take members of Congress hostage, was released on loan after his buddy paid his bail. But Emanuel Jackson, pretty much the only black face anyone has ever seen break through the Capitol is being held in prison until the trial.
Every single person who broke through the Capitol that day has committed a crime. Every single person who violated the Capitol is believed to be videotaped by surveillance cameras committed to the crime. At the very least, every single person who has violated the Capitol must be arrested, charged, and held accountable for that crime – just as if they were black.
But the vast majority of these 800 criminals were white, which means the vast majority are free at least for now. Only around 125 people have reportedly been arrested so far. Most of them were charged with relatively minor offenses. A crazy report of The Washington Post suggests that there are internal disagreements among some in the Justice Department over whether the authorities should act against all 800 insurgents at all. For some reason, the judicial officials tell the press that they fear that the lawsuit against these people will “overwhelm” the courts.
That is an absurd claim. Every criminal court in a large metropolitan area of this country is “overwhelmed” with cases, and that was already the case before Covid-19, when judges could safely go to work. Every family court in this country is overwhelmed. Every immigration court in this country is overwhelmed. Black and brown people are sitting in jails across the country waiting for their cases to be heard. But are we supposed to believe that “the system” is too busy to hold about 800 white insurgents accountable? What, are we concerned that the FBI will run out of organic meals to feed these people too?
The refusal to prosecute the insurgents is downright racist. There is no leeway here. We can weed whether the provocations of Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Mo Brooks and Rudolph Giuliani on the day of the riot were enough to make them criminal charges. We can discuss the appropriate punishment of Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and other Republicans who supported the great lie that motivated this attack on the government. However, the prosecution of the approximately 800 people who indicted the Capitol is non-negotiable. It has to happen. Either these people are all being prosecuted or this government is open to white violence.
I I still hope this government will do the right thing because “this” government, the Biden government, is only just beginning to take power. The charge, or lack of it, that we see now is the result of the permissibility of white violence by the previous government, which primarily led to the attack on the Capitol.
Remember, we could have rounded up all 800 of these people and accused them of crime and disorderly behavior. That could have happened. The fact that this is not the case should likely face FBI Director Christopher Wray soon before a congressional oversight committee hearing. Biden has decided to keep Wray at his post. I believe this is a mistake because Wray did not seriously investigate the attempted rape allegations against his Yale Law School classmate Brett Kavanaugh. His failure to round up insurgents on the day of their coup attempt only reinforces the feeling that Wray is the wrong man for the job. But I can understand that firing the FBI director at the start of every new administration isn’t really the way things are supposed to work.
Meanwhile, the current acting attorney general is a man named Monty Wilkinson. He’s a Justice Department official who I know almost nothing about, and what I know – that he seems to have turned a blind eye on Trump’s illegal family segregation policy – I don’t like it. The current US attorney for Washington, D.C. is a man named Michael Sherwin. He’s only been on duty since May and has backed former Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision to make things easier for Michael Flynn. It would be stupid to put much hope in them.
But there is still hope for Biden’s candidates. So far, no hearing is planned on Biden’s election for Attorney General Merrick Garland. At this time, we don’t know who Biden and Garland will appoint as permanent Senate-approved attorney for the District of Columbia. Biden has no prosecutors, so we don’t know how hard his government will try to prosecute the insurgents.
I’m not usually a patient man, but I am willing to wait to give the Biden administration time to find the right people to do what needs to be done.
Biden needs the right people to do this job because the right ones Legislation are already available. It is important that this not get twisted. Some people in the law enforcement community are already arguing that the reason why Capitol insurgents are laxly punished is because we don’t have a law criminalizing “domestic terrorism”. It is true that we don’t have any. But it’s also true that we don’t need one.
Remember how the government failed after 9/11. Remember how law enforcement almost immediately used the Patriot Act to monitor and harass people who were not terrorists but who happened to be brown skinned. Who were Muslims? We don’t need another draconian legal regime to persecute the people who stormed the Capitol. For a change we just have to apply the laws we already have against whites. To do this, we need prosecutors committed to justice, not new laws put in place by President Tom Cotton or any other Trump-lite person Republicans vote for next, to put blacks in jail as soon as they get the chance.
We don’t need new terrorism laws that prosecutors might one day abuse – we need prosecutors who will bring criminal conspiracy charges against the people who attacked us. I’m waiting for Biden’s Ministry of Justice.
The legal definition of “conspiracy” is simply that two or more people consent to an illegal act. If the agreement can be proven, any “overt act” in promoting the conspiracy will bear responsibility for the crime on all parties.
This may be a galloping shock to some people, but the overthrow of the government is indeed already a crime. Kidnapping people or taking hostages is already a crime. Assassination, or attempting to murder elected officials, is already a crime. If any of these individuals can be shown to have consented to do such things, anyone associated with these actions, even if they ultimately failed to capture their targets or murder, could face criminal conspiracy charges be proven, which entails massive penalties. However, in order to apply these conspiracy laws appropriately and not abusively, an in-depth investigation is required to ensure that prosecutors are bringing the most serious charges to the right people.
Sherwin’s office has already charged three members of the Oath Guards with conspiracy charges. I doubt these are the only people exposed to such legal vulnerability. Indeed, one of the main reasons the FBI should add up all the 800 people who violated the Capitol and accuse them of something is that some of them could work together and give the authorities additional details about whether and how the uprising was planned.
The other charges I’m waiting for are the criminal murder charges. One policeman was killed. We were told that the authorities are investigating this crime as murder. But the crime murder rule allows the state to prosecute individuals who assisted in the commission of a crime that led to murder. Criminal murder is a strict rule that allows people to be locked up for long periods of time, essentially to commit the wrong crime at the wrong time. Law enforcement agencies are constantly using it against people of color. Either the government is now using it against a white mob, or we need to get rid of the crime murder altogether and free dozens of black and brown people who are currently in jail under this rule.
There cannot be two systems of justice: one for people of color, like the man who was charged and convicted of murderous crimes after the Benghazi attacks although he was just the lookout and someone else for a crowd of white insurgents who stormed the Capitol and killed a policeman.
Such legal cases take time to develop. We should want the investigators to take their time. There is some level of guilt, and lawyers and investigators should be careful to distinguish the most dangerous criminals from others.
But they are all criminal. They should all be arrested and charged with something. There is no “innocent” violation of the Capitol to stop the installation of the duly elected president. this is not the case The simpsons;; there is no “Boys stay boysDecision that is acceptable for the moment.
If confirmed, Merrick Garland will be judged on it. This is how the entire Biden government and its commitment to equal justice is measured under the law.
Biden promised to do better and I hope he and his people will. I hope that Biden will appoint prosecutors who believe that persecuting white people is part of their job and cannot find excuses to let white people get away with violence. If 800 people have violated the Capitol, it is not too much to ask for an Excel spreadsheet to be delivered to my inbox detailing the responsibilities of each of those 800 people through to next year.
None of these people can escape justice. I hope Biden knows.