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'The whole purpose of their event was violence'| Experts compare Capitol riot response to BLM protest

Historians say the response to riots at the Capitol show a clear double standard. More arrests were made during BLM protests in May than in yesterday’s riots.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Wednesday, chaos erupted, rioters climbed walls, breached the capitol and forced lawmakers into lockdown. 

Triad historians said this has been brewing over the past four years with our current leadership.

Some people are questioning law enforcement's response at the capitol, and comparing it to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

Dr. Jack Monell a Justice studies professor at Winston Salem State University said  the initial police response was a clear double standard.

“One would arguably ask the question where was law enforcement,” Monell said. “There was a very soft presence for the crowds yesterday.”


It's a stark contrast to rubber bullets and tear gas put out by police during BLM protests.

“If you look historically at how the justice system operates there's clearly two distinct justice systems. There's a justice system that responds to the African American and Latino individuals,” Monell said. “And you see how the justice system responds to Caucasian's and folks with a higher tax bracket.”

High Point University Historian Paul Ringel said he believes the difference is simply race.

“Those people were not only white but on the political right and there is not a very extensive history of law enforcement treating those kinds of activist with violence,” Ringel said.

We were given a clear view of how law enforcement handles what they perceive as a threat.

"The whole purpose of the racial justice protest was to march, to protest.  Certainly there was looting that happened but that wasn't the major purpose," Ringel said. “The overwhelming majority were peaceful. Yesterday, there wasn't a march they weren't demonstrating. The whole purpose of their event yesterday was violence."

69 people were arrested after the attack on the Capitol Wednesday.

Compare that to nearly 400 arrests during the BLM protest in May.