One House Democrat told Axios that last night’s protest and minor riot outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters scared him “more than “January 6.”
Washington D.C. Metropolitain Police and U.S. Capitol Police officers battled roughly 200 pro-Palestine protesters outside the entrance to the DNC building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
Protesters reportedly tried to block entry to the building, resulting in clashes that left multiple law enforcement officers injured. According to a statement from the Capitol Police, six officers were treated for injuries suffered injuries ranging from minor cuts, to being punched or sprayed with pepper spray.
“We have handled hundreds of peaceful protests, but last night’s group was not peaceful. The crowd failed to obey our lawful orders to move back from the DNC, where Members of Congress were in the building,” reads the statement.
According to Axios, the DNC was hosting a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee candidate event at the time. Several members of Congress were in attendance, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
House office buildings were locked down as a result of the disturbance, including to multiple members of Congress.
One House Democrat who was present at the DNC told Axios it “scared me more than January 6.”
“Someone sent out word for people to come [back] and police said it’s not safe,” the lawmaker said. “Police were wearing gas masks … this was not peaceful.”
U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) confirmed that he was in the building and thanked police for keeping them safe. Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), who was also inside the building, urged rioters “not to do anything irresponsible” in an X post.
“They knew only that Members of Congress were inside, could not leave and that protestors would not let police through,” he said. “Forcing police to guess intent is irresponsible and dangerous.”
According to the statement from the Capitol Police, rioters blocked the exits with dumpsters and proceeded to pepper spray their officers. “Our teams quickly introduced consequences – pulling people off the building, pushing them back, and clearing them from the area, so we could safely evacuate the Members and staff,” reads the statement.
The fact that only one person was arrested has generated controversy, as the Biden Department of Justice has charged more than 1,400 Americans in connection with the January 6 Capitol protests. In many cases, those found guilty of assaulting Capitol Police officers have been sentenced to several years in prison.
In some instances, January 6 protesters have been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for the same offenses that occurred on Wednesday night.
Just last week, the FBI used multiple SWAT vehicles and more than a dozen armed agents to execute a raid on the home of Army veteran Gregory Yetman, who has been accused of pepper spraying Capitol Police officers nearly three years ago.
Julian Khater was arrested by the feds on an airplane in March 2021 then interrogated by the FBI w/o a lawyer for allegedly spraying Brian Sicknick with pepper spray on January 6.
He was denied release by Judge Tom Hogan (Reagan) and languished in DC Gulag for a year and a half… https://t.co/VzbjVeL8RM
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) November 16, 2023