Did cops remove barricades for pro-Trump mob? Internet says 'add a red carpet' as video from Capitol goes viral
Many on social media thought the police were complicit in the storming of the Capitol, but were they?
While authorities seemed to be rather unprepared to handle the Capitol breach that took place on Wednesday, January 6, a viral video has now raised more serious questions. The video in question seemed to show that the police themselves opened up the barricades and let angry protesters march in.
The TikTok video which appeared to show the police officers removing barricades to help the mob enter the federal property went viral after being posted on Twitter. The 14-second clip showed iron barricades in the distance which separated a crowd of protesters and a handful of men wearing black uniforms marked “U.S. Capitol Police.” A few seconds into the video, a dozen rioters pushed past the waist-high gates with the black-suited policemen leading the crowd into the previously restricted area as the person recording the video said, "Police are squabbling with protesters — ope, there we go. And they just breached the Capitol again."
Police opened gates and offered them in 😡 pic.twitter.com/cFJmIekwzR— Still Vigilant Grandma 🇺🇸🗽 (@midlifewomanon1) January 6, 2021
A number of angry reactions followed after people on social media were shocked to see the police not only not trying to stop the protesters but aiding their violent outburst. "But tell us again, media and thin blue line folks, how law enforcement isn't racist and on trump's side," one of them said, while another wrote, "OMG! This is atrocious!"
A third commented, "I suspect all of them are already having some regrets." One more remarked, "Someone needs to add a red carpet." The next said, "Get their badges. TONIGHT." One more quipped, "It's all preplanned." Another said, "Omg I can’t believe what I am seeing!!!!" A commenter tweeted, "Prosecute every last one of those cops." One more wrote, "Am I actually witnessing police being complicit???"
But tell us again, media and thin blue line folks, how law enforcement isn't racist and on trump's side. pic.twitter.com/nLhBhrX2rt— LA Scamp 🤬🏳️🌈🇺🇸🏴🌊 (@scamp_la) January 7, 2021
OMG! This is atrocious!— i miss theater! (@Khill82758) January 7, 2021
I suspect all of them are already having some regrets.— Dale Diaz (@deldoggie) January 7, 2021
Someone needs to add a red carpet— Andrew Ayres (@AndrewAyres2020) January 7, 2021
get their badges. TONIGHT.— LynnieRe (@ReLynnie) January 7, 2021
It's all preplanned— Ishag Shafeeg #IbuFaisal (@ishagshafeeg) January 7, 2021
Omg I can’t believe what I am seeing!!!!— Karen Boaz (@KarenBoaz) January 7, 2021
Prosecute every last one of those cops.— Some guy (@emclark23) January 6, 2021
Am I actually witnessing police being complicit???— Napir (@Napir9) January 7, 2021
However, fact-checking website Snopes said that what immediately met the eye could not have been true. "Based on our frame-by-frame analysis of the footage, it was indiscernible whether police or the extremists moved the barricades. The videographer zooms in and out from the action and maintains a vertical positioning — the standard format for TikTok — and does not show who exactly 'opened' the gates to the federal property," the outlet reported.
The original creator of the TikTok video was freelance journalist Marcus DiPaol who posted the viral footage around 2.30 pm EST, with the caption: “Group just pushed Capitol police.” The video’s producer described the scene as rioters “pushing” past police and did not mention anything about officers moving physical barricades. A second video circulating in social media was that of police posing for selfies with protesters who breached the building and vandalized offices and the legislative chambers.
Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists. pic.twitter.com/EjkQ83h1p2— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 6, 2021
Timothy Dimoff, a former SWAT force member who now runs a security company, said police were not really 'unprepared'. “They knew this group was coming, they knew it was going to be enormous but they didn’t do any preparation to control the crowd such as fencing, barricades, and cement structures to prevent traffic and people flow,” Dimoff told Bloomberg News.
Rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) condemned the attack and said that the inability of the police to prevent the breach of the federal property will be looked into. “The breach today at the US Capitol raises grave security concerns,” Lofgren said. “I intend to have the Committee on House Administration work with the bipartisan House and Senate leadership to address these concerns and review the response in the coming days.”