In a recent interview on CNN Newsroom with Brianna Keilar, journalist Mara Schiavocampo made a startling revelation that in one day last Summer, DC Police arrested five times the number of Black Lives Matter protesters than they did on the super violent DC insurrection of January 6th 2021. Now, if this is not proof positive that we have a two-tier system of justice, I don’t know what is, because none of the Black Lives Matter protests we witnessed last Summer, come even close to the level of violence we witnessed on January 6th–a domestic terrorism event on live TV. It also raises serious questions as to why DC police was very well prepared for Black Lives Matter protests, but so woefully unprepared for the January 6th insurrection.
Mara Schiavocampo’s interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar happened against the backdrop of news reports that a federal judge had allowed one of the insurrectionists, a former Army Captain named Gabriel Garcia, to remain free on bail awaiting trial. The federal judge’s decision was shocking because there were recordings of Garcia all over social media, showing him screaming for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meaning his intent at the Capitol building was to cause harm to the Speaker. Additionally, after charges were filed against him, Garcia reportedly showed up for his first pretrial detention hearing with a knife. Reasonable people will agree that no similarly situated Black or Brown suspect would have been allowed to remain free on bail awaiting trial by any federal court, a sad testament to our two-tier system of justice.
Responding to host Brianna Keilar’s question regarding the federal judge’s decision to release Garcia from detention awaiting trial, Schiavocampo said, “This fits squarely with everything that we’ve seen with this insurrection. From the planning out in the open which so many people were able to see it coming, from the way that these insurrectionists were treated when they descended upon the Capitol…and now we’re seeing how it’s playing out in the court system, and we know if this was a Black Lives Matter protest, things would have ended differently. We know that because we saw that happen with the Black Lives Matter protests. These insurrectionists were literally by and large, allowed to storm the Capitol at lunch time, and be home in time for dinner. On one day at a Black Lives Matter protest this Summer, five times the amount of people were arrested by DC police than were arrested on January 6th, so we see these very clear contradictions.”
Schiavocampo then zeroed in on the the glaring disparities between how the bail system works when suspects are Black or Brown, as opposed to when they are White. She said, “The call for justice has never been about equal oppression, it’s been about equal freedom. It’s show us [Blacks and Browns] the same compassion that you are showing others…nobody wants to be judged by their worst actions, and by their worst days, but unfortunately that’s what we see over and over again when it comes to Black and Brown suspects, and when the suspects are not Black and Brown, we are talking about White suspects, they are shown a tremendous amount of leniency, compassion, mercy, and they are viewed through the lens of humanity, and that’s what’s lacking when it comes to minorities in the criminal justice system.”
Bottom line folks, complaints about our two-tier justice system predate the January 6th DC insurrection. The fact however, that DC insurrection has exposed this problem in such an irrefutable manner, means this is something the Biden-Harris administration will have to address head on. Simply put, we cannot have a system of justice that deals with Black and Brown suspects so harshly, but is exceptionally lenient to White suspects, even when the conduct involved is the most serious conduct imaginable–terrorism, overthrowing the government, murdering elected officials, etc. This is an issue that has to be addressed for the sake of the justice system’s credibility.
For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.
You may reach the author via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com