A viral video appeared to show a police officer standing to pose with a supporter of Donald Trump who was among a large group that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a burst of violence and destruction that left one person dead.
Many who were inside the building when the group rushed inside recorded the riots, showing the Trump supporters spreading out around inside with a small number even reaching toward the House chambers. As ABC News reported, a woman inside was shot and rushed to a hospital, where she later died.
One viral video appeared to show a police officer standing to pose with one of the rioters who breached the barriers and snapped a picture on what looked to be his phone. The incident drew immediate pushback, with many blaming Capitol police for failing to hold back the rioters. But the short clip did not make it clear whether the law enforcement official was intentionally posing or simply standing firm as the man snapped a photo next to him.
Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists. pic.twitter.com/EjkQ83h1p2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 6, 2021
Some who saw the images accused law enforcement of encouraging the violence. Others shared a clip appearing to show officers moving aside barricades just outside the Capitol building, which allowed the group to make their way inside.
“Trump’s supporters know that not only is the current president on their side, but so is law enforcement,” noted Revolt. “In some of the many videos of the Capitol catastrophe, we see footage of police not only removing barricades around the building to let them enter, but once the Trump supporters are inside, we see cops actually posing to take selfies with them.”
Politicians on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the riot, with many saying Trump holds responsibility for the unfounded claims of voter fraud that continued even after the violence that took place. Biden released a statement condemning the attack, as did all living former presidents.
In a video calling for the rioters to leave the Capitol, Trump continued to insist that the election had been stolen from him.
“I know you’re in pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” Trump said in the pre-recorded message, via ABC News. “But you have to go home now.”
As Deadline reported, social media outlets have locked out Trump, with many taking down the clip that repeated unfounded claims of voting fraud in the election.