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Mob members interact with Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol Building. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden joined Black Lives Matter activists and others in decrying what they said was a double standard in law enforcement's response to the mostly white mob that violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, compared to peaceful protesters calling for racial justice.

What he's saying: "If it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday ... they would have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that's true, and it is unacceptable."

Driving the news: President Trump's supporters marched to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday following a rally near the White House, as Congress gathered to certify Biden's election. Rioters broke windows and breached the building, including the Senate chamber, forcing lawmakers to evacuate to undisclosed locations.

  • It took hours for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other law enforcement agencies to clear the building and grounds, using tear gas and flashbangs.
  • At least four people died, including one woman who was shot in the Capitol, and three others who died in "medical emergencies," D.C. police said Wednesday night.

Flashback: Last June, police used tear gas and batons to clear peaceful protesters and journalists near the White House so Trump could take a photo outside St. John's Episcopal Church amid nationwide racial unrest.

  • Law enforcement also used tear-gas and less-lethal projectiles across the nation to break up the summer protests, which erupted after the police killings of several Black people, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
  • Many were injured and thousands were arrested across the country.

What they're saying:

  • The Black Lives Matter Global Network tweeted Wednesday that the "insurrection and coup by hundreds of pro-Trump supporters is one more example of the hypocrisy in our country’s law enforcement response to protest."
  • Janeese Lewis George, a D.C. Council member, said in a statement that she was "deeply troubled by the double standard we saw in response to this attack."
    • "In June, we saw several federal law enforcement agencies crack down on nonviolent Back Lives Matter protesters with tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets at Lafayette Square. "
    • "Meanwhile, the violent seditionists who rushed the U.S. Capitol today met little resistance even as they forced entry into the most sacred spaces of our democracy. It is a disturbing contrast that we must reckon with.”
  • NAACP president Derrick Johnson told USA Today: "When Black folks are protesting and progressives are protesting peacefully they were tear-gassed, they were arrested, they were shot with rubber bullets. They were shot with real bullets."
  • Lucas Brown Eyes, a member of the Oglala Lakota nation, shared photos of police using tear gas and tackling demonstrators during the 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.
    • "As we watch Trumpers storm the capital with guns. Just a reminder, this is what America did to Native[s] protesting for clean water," he tweeted. "Where are the missile launchers they deployed at Standing Rock? Where are the water canons? Tear Gas? Rubber bullets?"

Trump himself in the past has called anti-racist protesters "thugs." But hours into Wednesday's melee he called on rioters to "go home now," adding, "We love you."

What to watch: Several lawmakers have vowed to investigate law enforcement's response to the violent U.S. Capitol breach.

Editor's note: Updates with Biden comment.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 24, 2021 - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

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