D.C. riot draws local reaction

Local, state officials comment on mob’s invasion at the U.S. Capitol

Rioters use tear gas while clash with police trying to enter the Capitol building through the front doors in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. Rioters broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. Police used buttons and tear gas grenades to eventually disperse the crowd. Rioters used metal bars and tear gas as well against the police. – Photo by Lev Radin/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images

The day after an angry mob of radical President Donald Trump supporters breached security barriers at the nation’s Capitol building just as Congress was going through the process of certifying the electoral votes, which ultimately confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s win, several local leaders spoke about what happened on Wednesday.

Boyle County Republican Party Chair Tom Tye said in statement early Thursday morning, “I was appalled and dismayed by the actions of the mob that broke away from the peaceful protest yesterday in our nation’s Capitol. Although we firmly believe in everyone’s First Amendment rights, that does not include nor condone violence.”

Tye added, “That group does not represent our conservative values nor our respect for the electoral process and those elected to serve our great nation.”

Tye wrote, “At the end of the day we are all Americans and we all need to pray for our nation’s healing and for our leaders to work together and help us move past this terrible incident.”

Boyle County Democratic Party Chair Beau Weston wrote in an email, “I was appalled to see President Trump gather, incite, and unleash a mob to attempt a coup against democracy. That they invaded the Capitol, drove Congress into hiding, and disrupted the certification of President-Elect Biden and Vice-President Elect Harris’ victory is a stain on America that only our enemies can applaud.” Weston added, “I believe all the invaders should be tried for sedition and insurrection.”

Weston wrote, “It is a further embarrassment that, even after the mob had been removed and the certification resumed, several Republican legislators still wanted to invalidate the election. Even Senator McConnell had finally had enough of the president’s resistance to democracy. It is to Sen. McConnell’s credit that he accepted the results of the election, and got nearly all of the Kentucky delegation to join him in that honorable conclusion.”

Weston said, “We have never had a coup attempt fomented by a president before. Even Richard Nixon left office, so that Constitutional government could be preserved. I worry what else the president may attempt in his remaining few days in office.

“Nonetheless, I believe that on January 20th the new administration will be inaugurated. The peaceful transfer of power is one of the glories of American democracy. The Biden/Harris administration will have its hands full cleaning up the mess and forging ahead to improve the nation.”

Danville Mayor Mike Perros said, “The actions of some do not represent the feelings of many, if not most. Our country is a country of laws. We depend on elected officials to implement those laws. We, the people, elected them to do so. They conduct the people’s business in the capitol, the people’s capitol. It, and them, should always be respected, without regard to one’s personal opinion.
“The display yesterday was deplorable. It was inexcusable. It was ‘un-American.’ Those folks made all of us look bad.”
Perros added, “Perhaps something good will come out of this. I truly hope so.”

Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard P. Hunt II issued this statement, “My 35 years of service to our country instilled in me a core value that all Americans should abide by the ‘rule of law’ – it is what sets our country apart from the rest of the world.

“Illegally entering the Capitol building for the purpose of destruction and violence is not the way for American citizens to voice their objections. In the United States, we respect civility, peaceful protests, and freedom of speech. These liberties are what I dedicated my life to protect.”

Representative Daniel Elliott wrote in an email, “As a former intern in the United States Senate with Sen. Jim Bunning, I’m very familiar with the U.S. Capitol. I was saddened and dismayed to see the destruction and loss of life that occurred yesterday in our beautiful Capitol building.“We are a nation built on the rule of law, and we cannot settle our political differences with violence. While I will always support peaceful protest and our citizens’ ability to freely express their conscience, no form of violence is acceptable in our society, and those using violence and the threat of force must be prosecuted.”

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell issued a statement Thursday afternoon.
“I salute and applaud those front-line U.S. Capitol Police officers who stood bravely in harm’s way during yesterday’s failed insurrection. We are praying today for those who sustained injuries, some serious, in the line of duty. Congress is also deeply grateful to the local officers from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, the federal law enforcement personnel, the National Guard, and all the other professionals who deployed to help subdue the criminals and retake the Capitol,” McConnell said.

“With that said, yesterday represented a massive failure of institutions, protocols, and planning that are supposed to protect the first branch of our federal government. A painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow. Initial bipartisan discussions have already begun among committees of oversight and Congressional leadership,” he added. “The ultimate blame for yesterday lies with the unhinged criminals who broke down doors, trampled our nation’s flag, fought with law enforcement, and tried to disrupt our democracy, and with those who incited them. But this fact does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols.”