Former FBI special agent Erroll Southers told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the behavior of some law enforcement during Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol invoked memories of Charlottesville and Kenosha.
“It invokes for me memories back to 2017 and Charlottesville when one of the persons part of the Unite the Right movement discharged a firearm and walked past the police, said Southers, who is currently the Director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the University of Southern California. “It brings back images of Kenosha after that individual killed two people and slung his AR-15 over his shoulder and walked by the police officers who sat him down and got him some water. It’s very clear what’s going on here.”
Police response to Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol is coming under growing fire. Critics include President-elect Joe Biden, who called the treatment of rioters a double standard.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said. “We all know that’s true and it is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote that Wednesday’s Capitol riot “made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbol of our nation … they’ve just got to look the right way.”
The FBI produced a report that warned about the infiltration of white nationalists in local law enforcement in 2006. Southers said that the siege of the U.S. Capitol illustrates the situation has since been exacerbated.
“It’s raised its ugly head again … and confirmed what we thought 15 years is even worse,” Southers said.
A Department of Homeland Security and an FBI assessment from last year showed that racist terror groups are displaying unparalleled activity in the modern era. Southers told host Shepard Smith that the data “clearly articulated that the threat is from the right.”
The FBI confirmed that it disposed of two explosive devices, including a “pipe bomb like device” at the RNC headquarters on Wednesday, and Southers explained the message those devices sent.
“I think back to 1995, do we have to have buildings come down as they did in Oklahoma City for us to get the message?” Southers said. “Yesterday, thank god, the building did not come down.”
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