PHOENIX — President-elect Joe Biden condemned the violent riot at the Capitol on Thursday and joined thousands on social media in noting the disparity in the law enforcement response over the summer versus what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said.
Arizona State Associate Professor Dr. Rashad Shabazz said something similar Wednesday night, hours after witnessing the events at the Capitol on live TV.
Shabazz would not extend any leniency to Capitol police for poor planning. He believes racial bias, whether implicit or explicit, is what caused the disparity in response that many noticed.
“The benefit of the doubt, it doesn’t pass the test, if you will,” Shabazz said.
“What we have to confront is the fact that our police force deeply understands who to deploy violence toward and who not to.”
As to the lack of preparation and the failure to respond quickly and effectively, even law enforcement officers are at a loss as to how this could happen.
Former Phoenix Police Department Assistant Chief Kevin Robinson told 12 News that Wednesday’s failure was a clear failure in preparation.
“Law enforcement agencies in the Metro DC area, one thing they do well, is they do protests. They deal with them 365 days a year, so out of sheer repetition they have gotten extremely good at that,” Robinson said. “Why they weren’t ready, why they weren’t prepared, that’s what causes that deep concern that people have.”
Robinson spent 36 years with the Phoenix police, and he trained with DC Metro Police as well as the Capitol Police during that time.
He believes that, on top of preparation issues, there were issues with the chain of command and the process of requesting additional resources as things spiraled out of control.
Where that issue began and whether or not it can be blamed on President Donald Trump’s failure to act, Robinson couldn’t say.
“I can’t answer it. I can’t tell you why they did what they did or didn’t do what they should have,” Robinson said. “It’s a million dollar question that I’m sure will get answered.”
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