By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol and supports Senator Chuck Schumer’s call to Vice President Michael Pence to use the 25th amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.
“We have never seen a president of the United States attempt to overthrow the Congress, to cause harm to members of the Congress that represent all of us and to undermine and destroy our democratic system,” de Blasio said Thursday. “ He should not be president any longer.”
Yesterday, a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol — pushing past barricades and capitol police, in an effort to stop the congress from counting electoral college votes confirming President-elect Joe Biden won the November election.
The rush quickly devolved into chaos as rioters defaced the walls and doors of the building while looting offices and chambers as elected officials sheltered in place. At least four people were killed during the attack, with one woman dying after being shot in the neck by Capitol security.
For weeks, President Trump has encouraged his supporters to help him overturn the 2020 presidential election results claiming it was “stolen” and again incited violence after telling the crowd of his supporters gathered outside of the capitol “you will never take back our country with weakness,” according to The New York Times.
“The president urged people to do violence,” said de Blasio. “That is sedition, that’s treason… He pointed at the US Congress and he told them to destroy and disrupt.”
“I don’t use a word like fascism lightly but what we say yesterday, you could have dropped that scene right into Germany in the 1920s or 30s.”
In a statement released Thursday morning, Capitol Police said rioters breached the building equipped with metal piles, chemical irritants and “took up other weapons” against offices. “They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” the statement says.
In addition, de Blasio called for an immediate and independent investigation into the lack of police preparedness outside of the Capitol during the electoral count and lack of heavy police response to the attack on congress–a stark shift in tone given de Blasio’s deferential attitude towards the NYPD officers use of excessive force on Black Lives Matter protesters last year and slow rollout of an investigation into allegations of misconduct within the department.
As bedlam overtook the Capitol, the national guard or any other police reinforcements were nowhere to be found with the Pentagon choosing to remain on the sidelines until hours after the scuffle started. Eventually, national guard troops and officers from a number of regional police departments surround the Capitol to enforce a 6 p.m. curfew issued by D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser.
A number of regional police departments, as well as the National Guard, helped the Metropolitan Police Department establish a perimeter around the Capitol to help enforce an overnight curfew that took effect at 6 p.m., said Robert J. Contee, the department’s chief.
“It’s not believable that there was just some overmatched Capitol police. I’m sorry I just don’t accept that,” said de Blasio. “I want to know who was in charge… this was a day that everyone knew was coming …it wasn’t hard to assume there would be violence.”