A resident’s perspective on the Capitol attack


Photo courtesy of Carly Collins

Posters adorn the Peace Monument on the grounds of the Capitol after the attack on Jan. 6

One attack, thousands of protesters, over 100 arrested and 5 deceased. These are the facts that define the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The riot has made a lasting imprint at a national level. It has also affected those residing in areas in Washington D.C. near the Capitol. Nurse Carly Collins, who lives two blocks away, said, “We all received an emergency alert on our phones instructing us to

shelter in place. It was scary to realize that the Capitol had been breached. Many of us have friends and family who were locked down at the Capitol so we were all extremely worried about them.”

The attack came in response to controversy over the 2020 election and a speech given by Former President Donald Trump that morning. The attack was also linked to a Dec. 18 tweet by Trump that said, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

The attack began in the early afternoon while Congress counted electoral votes. During this time, rioters stormed the building, scaled walls, and knocked down barriers. The rioters also vandalized personal belongings such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, broke windows, littered and destroyed media equipment.

The difference in treatment that the Jan. 6 protesters received in comparison to Black Lives Matter protesters in June was striking.

“I felt extremely frustrated,” said Collins. “In June, the police were violent with protesters and the national guard was deployed throughout the city. On the 6th, our D.C. mayor requested that the National Guard be deployed prior to the riot but this was struck down by Trump. There really was no police presence in the city leading up to the attack.”

Many residents were impacted by the attack. While at work, Collins’s roommate had to evacuate her building when a truck with 11 homemade bombs and an assault rifle was found parked outside. In addition to yelling, rioters also threw things at Collins’s car while on her way home from her shift at the children’s hospital.

The attack resulted in five fatalities. 35-year-old Veteran Ashli Babbitt died in the hospital after being shot, and Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick and three other victims passed away due to the injuries inflicted during the riot. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide following the attack.

At least 119 people have been arrested and are facing federal charges. The FBI and D.C. police released a statement asking for help identifying rioters in order to arrest those involved. 34-year-old Garret Miller was arrested for rioting and for a comment he posted on Twitter that said, “Assassinate AOC,” in response to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s earlier tweet, “Impeach.”

Since the riot, Trump has been banned from numerous social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for using such platforms to incite violence. Investigations to prosecute rioters are ongoing.

“I feel fortunate to have safely made it through this event,” said Collins. “I’m also thankful that there was such a large public outcry and that so many who participated in the attack have been arrested because we cannot tolerate this type of violent behavior towards our democracy.”