April 17, 2024

One-Year Anniversary of the 2021 Capitol Riot

Over one year ago on January 6th, 2021, a sizable mob of about 2,000-2,500 people forced their way on restricted grounds in Washington D.C. because they sought out to overturn Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the session of Congress assembled to count the electoral votes. Rioters went past police barricades, lines of officers, and into the U.S. Capitol building; because of this, Congress was forced to temporarily halt the counting of the 2020 Electoral College votes.

Four people who participated in the rally died on January 6th: one was shot and killed by a Capitol Police Officer and three others died of separate “medical emergencies”, according to authorities. However, the very next day, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was sprayed with a chemical substance during the riot, would collapse and pass away after two strokes. Approximately 140 law enforcement were assaulted during the riot, which includes 80 from the U.S. Capitol Police and 60 Police Officers from the D.C. Metropolitan. Also in the coming days and months after the Capitol riot, four more Police Officers would commit suicide due to the trauma from the Capitol riot.

After all of this took place, FBI Director Christopher Wray, would call that day an act of “domestic terrorism.” Then the FBI and other law enforcement entities would be given the task of finding and charging those people who are responsible. Prosecutors called this case unprecedented; later stating in court that the Capitol attack “is likely the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”

5 takeaways from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot criminal cases : NPR
Rioters attempting to enter the Capitol building as someone tries to block them out

Have any people been charged?

Yes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia was given the task of spearheading the investigation and subsequent prosecutions, which they then charged over 700 people with crimes from the January 6th Capitol riot.

Around more than 600 people have been accused of entering the restricted Capitol Grounds, which could carry a maximum sentence of 1 year and a $100,000 fine at the misdemeanor level. Prosecutors have also charged multiple people with other lower-level counts of illegal picketing and disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds.

Also more than 30 people have been charged with theft of government property. Supposedly, someone who got into the Capitol building went and found speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi’s office and stole a laptop. As well as at least 225 people have been charged with assaulting, impeding, or resisting law enforcement during the riot and over 75 others are being accused of using a deadly weapon against law enforcement.

The FBI Has Made Over 100 Arrests Related to the Capitol Riot | WIRED
Rioters attempting to get past Police barricades

How much damage was caused?

Capitol rioters caused a ton of damage during the riot; the repair costs for everything is at an estimated $2.5 million. However, according to the office that is responsible for maintaining the building, the estimated $2.5 million is only a small fraction of the costs to restore the building.

Rioters kicked down doors, broke windows, and ruined shutters. Some also used chemical irritants and fire extinguishers, which damaged statues and paintings in the Rotunda, the Crypt, and the National Statuary Hall.

Police arrest man who carried Pelosi lectern and horned Capitol intruder |  US Capitol attack | The Guardian
Rioters when inside the Capitol building