(USA Features) The National Police Association lambasted Congress on Tuesday for focusing heavily on the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 will “ignoring” the chaos, rioting, destruction, and violence that took place throughout the country last year.
“There were at least 574 violent riots in 2020, and yet today’s Congressional hearings are focusing on only one riot, January 6th, 2021, and hearing testimony from only a few of the police officers involved,” association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith told The Washington Times.
Smith, a retired police sergeant, noted that immediately following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota in late May 2020, “policing was attacked from all sides” though law enforcement agencies were dealing with “violent riots night, after night, after night.”
“Brave police officers attempted to defend stores, apartment buildings, churches, hotels, several of their own precincts and courthouses and even a Ronald McDonald House from looting, arson and vandalism,” she said, noting further that one officer was paralyzed while several more suffered “horrific” injuries.
Smith’s comments came as four officers from the Capitol Police and DC Metro Police departments testified on Capitol Hill about violence they dealt with from many people who claimed to be supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Hundreds of people stormed the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 during a speech Trump was giving to a crowd of about 100,000 as lawmakers were meeting to certify the 2020 election results.
The House and Senate Judiciary committees have launched probes into events leading up to the Jan. 6 riot as well as accusations that Trump officials pressed the Justice Department to file challenges to the outcome of the election in a number of contested battleground states.
Smith noted a July survey which found that two-thirds of respondents, or 66%, want Congress to look into the “574 protests that involved acts of violence, including assaults on police officers, looting and arson” last year.
But if lawmakers don’t investigate the protests from last year, Smith says she thinks the nation will be subjected to “unprecedented levels of gun violence,” which has been increasing in major cities around the country already.
“Politicizing one violent riot while ignoring hundreds of others, refusing to strongly denounce the ‘defund the police’ movement, and continuing to discuss ‘police reform’ instead of ‘criminal reform’ and ‘law and order’ will further embolden violent offenders and thrust this nation into unprecedented levels of gun violence,” she told the Times.
“Criminals who have no reason to fear the police, the prosecutors or the justice system will continue their lawless behavior, and the poorest of Americans will be the ones who suffer the most,” she continued.
According to data, more than 550 people around the United States were shot earlier this month over the Independence Day weekend.
In addition, according to crime data, murders were up in at least 38 of the country’s largest cities during just the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period of time last year, a recent report by the Major Cities Chiefs Association noted.
Most Republicans have denounced the 1/6 Commission as an exercise in political theater set up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to reach the predetermined narrative that Trump triggered the Capitol riot.