Fires, looting, vandalized buildings, and tear gas had Washington in turmoil last summer after George Floyd’s death.
In early June, three nights of consecutive riots left 61 U.S. Park Police officers and seven D.C. police officers hurt, with three Park Police officers hospitalized. One was hit in the head with a brick. Another was hit in the groin with a brick.
“Fires were set at the historic church across from the White House, at least three CVS stores and in other commercial buildings in downtown D.C.,” the local NBC news station reported. “Incensed agitators broke windows and looted stores in D.C.’s upscale Georgetown shopping district and attacked a man there.”
Later that month, protestors defaced a statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square outside of the White House and tried to topple it. Pepper spray had to be used to clear the crowd from the area. Later that week, the National Park Service had to erect an 8-to-9-foot fence around the park to prevent further destruction.
Yet, Washington’s Mayor Muriel Bowser looked to rewrite history today. Under oath, she lied before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs telling Sen. Ron Johnson there was only “one night of rioting,” in the District last summer and that “we do not permit any riotous behavior.”
Tell that to Sen. Rand Paul and his wife Kelly, who were accosted by an angry mob following the Republican National Convention last August outside of the White House. The entire incident has been documented on videos on social media. That evening, all attendees were harassed as soon as they exited on the streets, and Uber fares skyrocketed for having to pick people up in a “Black Lives Matter” protest zone. Even the drivers didn’t feel safe.
“I don’t hear Joe Biden or Kamala Harris saying one thing about the violence [in the streets of D.C.],” Mr. Paul said after the incident. “This mob is their voters. This is the new Democrat party. And if we don’t resist this, the United States is going to become Portland.”
Indeed. In the wake of the defund the police movement and subsequent Black Lives Matter riots of last year, America’s cities have seen a spike in crime. The District has seen a 13% rise in homicides and 30% increase in motor vehicle theft in June, compared to one year ago, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Although dozens of people were arrested last summer during the riots, most were released after appearing in court on various charges including burglary, destruction of property and violating Ms. Bower’s own curfew restrictions. The felony charge of rioting was dropped by prosecutors in most cases, the Washington Post reported at the time.
“After making their initial appearances in D.C. Superior Court, nearly all defendants were freed pending future court appearances,” the Post reported. The D.C. police said they made 106 arrests including dozens involving charges of felony rioting, but when they arrived in court the U.S. attorney’s office dismissed rioting charges against most of the defendants.
Although Ms. Bowser said today, she doesn’t “permit” riotous behavior, the act of letting rioters off scot-free sure does seem like it.
Ms. Bowser refused to disclose to the Senate Homeland Committee just how much last summer’s riots cost the city in repairs. Axios reported last summer the damage done in the riots that occurred from May 26-June 8th in 20 states across the U.S. was the most expensive in insurance history, topping $1 billion.
Yet, unlike those who stormed the Capitol in January, there will be no accountability for last summer’s rioters. They seemingly have been rewarded. In addition to not being prosecuted, D.C. transportation officials this year made plans for a permanent version of Black Lives Matter Plaza. And Ms. Bowser is working hard to rewrite history – that no vandalism, fires, thievery, assaults, and destruction ever took place because of its Black Lives Matter movement.