Students say Capitol violence should be punished


A protest at the U.S. Capitol quickly turned to chaos on Jan. 6, with rioters breaking and entering the building, hoping to disrupt Congress’s counting of electoral votes.

A rioter and a police officer both died as a direct result of the violence while over 50 officers were injured. The Capitol officer who shot and killed one of the rioters has been put on administrative leave and will undergo investigation.

Public opinion on the riot and its violence has varied. Some support the actions taken by the rioters at the Capitol while some say every person in attendance should be punished.

Maggie Eubanks, a freshman political science and Spanish major, said that while rioters who participated in violence should be prosecuted, officers shouldn’t be punished for doing their job to protect the Capitol and congresspeople.

“Rioters that played a role in the deaths of those that sadly passed should be held liable,” Eubanks said. “I hope that those involved are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Madison Hernandez, a junior political science major, said that there should have been more law enforcement present. She noted that during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, the National Guard were on the steps of the Capitol to ensure nothing would happen.

“Everyone who stormed the Capitol, ransacked it, destroyed things, and stole things should be prosecuted to the highest degree,” Hernandez said.

Adam Craig, a masters student studying public administration, shared a different view on the events of Jan. 6. He said that it was a mostly peaceful protest.

But like Eubanks and Hernandez, Craig condemns violent protests.

“As a member of the armed forces, I have and always will support my brothers and sisters in blue,” Craig said. “However, those who killed unarmed protesters should be prosecuted. Those involved in the killing and injury of police officers should be prosecuted.”

Patrick Exmeyer, an assistant professor of public administration, said an investigation in the next few weeks will find how it was determined to send the number of officers that were sent, and whether that number of officers should have been enough to maintain safety.

“It is difficult to determine, at this point, why supporters of the president were able to overwhelm the Capitol police and breach the halls of Congress,” Exmeyer said.