ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local leaders are calling out unfair treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters in D.C. compared to Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol.
“There’s a system of injustice that prevails and we’ve got to address it, and here it was again front and center for us to see,” said Albany County Legislature Carolyn McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said yesterday’s riot displays the need for police reform.
“If you put both those videos side-to-side, Black Lives Matter protests and this anarchist riot, you will see two different methods of dealing with a crowd,” McLaughlin said.
A big difference McLaughlin noted is the number of police at both protests. This summer there were hundreds. But yesterday, outside policing agencies had to be called in to handle crowds after chaos erupted.
“You don’t have to be some brilliant person to see something was not fair there,” McLaughlin said.
52 arrests were made on Wednesday. In a three-day span of the racial injustice rally last summer, about 400 people were arrested.
“There is truly a problem. And the difference between the two that I can only see at this point is race,” President of the Troy Branch of the NAACP Renee Powell said.
The national NAACP has joined the conversation calling for the President Donald Trump’s impeachment after his words sent rioters to the Capitol.
Powell said the conversation of social injustice starts from the top down, and the issue needs to be front and center when President-elect Joe Biden enters office in less than two weeks.
“It has to be a message of unity and the message can’t be divisive as what we’re seeing right now,” Powell said.
The Department of Homeland Security has told ABC News the lack of police presence was a planning issue and officers were ill-prepared to handle crowds.