MICHELLE OBAMA BLASTS POLICE RESPONSE TO CAPITOL SIEGE
Michelle Obama, the former first lady, criticized on Thursday a “gulf” between the police response to the violent mob of Trump supporters that marched on the Capitol a day earlier and the more forceful actions taken by officers in response to largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in American cities last year, Michael Gold reported for the New York Times.
In a lengthy, emotional statement that she posted on Twitter, Mrs. Obama joined many people in accusing President Trump and law enforcement officials of a double standard in policing, one she and others argued was inextricably tied to the race of the people involved.
“Yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation,” she wrote. “They’ve just got to look the right way.” Mrs. Obama also condemned the riot inside the Capitol, saying that those involved had “desecrated the center of American government” in an event that she said was spurred on by an “infantile and unpatriotic” Mr. Trump.
In her statement, she specifically pointed to an incident this summer in which officers violently cleared protesters from a square outside the White House to allow a photo opportunity for Mr. Trump.
“In city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protesters met with brute force. We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op,” Mrs. Obama wrote.
The response to the mob this week had been considerably more muted, she said, an imbalance that she found painful to grapple with. “I hurt for our country,” Mrs. Obama said. “And I wish I had all the solutions to make things better. I wish I had the confidence that people who know better will act like it for more than a news cycle or two.”
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