Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who serves as Impeachment Manager in the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump, had no problem with riots when they were perpetrated on behalf of Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
Raskin's concerns, at the time, were for those protestors who were on the receiving end of pepper spray, claiming that the real worry was COVID, and not violence.
"As for protest," Raskin said, "let us not confuse the issue. Whether your protest is a right-wing protest, like Boogaloo and Proud Boys, and anti-public health order protestors, like the ones who threatened the life of Governor Whitmer, and tried to shut down the Michigan legislature and succeeded in doing so, or it's the non-violent assemblies of millions of people with Black Lives Matter, across the country, the kind endorsed by our late beloved colleague John Lewis, a champion of non-violence, the same rules must apply.
"If a jurisdiction has a six foot rule and a masking rule, which I assume and hope everyone of them does, it applies equally to everybody. And the preliminary results suggest, and I know because I've been to a lot of Black Lives Matter protests, is people are not getting infected as much because they are observing those rules.
"Obviously when you go to an anti-public health order, anti-masking protest, like the kinds that shut down the legislature in Michigan, most people are not wearing masks and are not observing the public health protocols they have come to try and destroy. So if you're really concerned about the protests and people getting sick there, and we should be, they we have to look at the use of tear gas and pepper spray.
"Everybody saw the secret federal officers who were assembled by Attorney General Barr in Oregon remove the mask of a Naval veteran and spray pepper spray right in his face. That's extremely dangerous, to remove someone's mask and then to have them sneezing and coughing and so on, so it's the use of those chemical irritants that is the real danger."
The riots that ensued in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody lasted for over 100 days, resulted in the deaths of over 30 people, and destroyed an excessive amount of property. Violence was committed by BLM activists and Antifa militants, who vandalized property and tormented civilians. A left-wing security guard in Denver shot a right-wing protestor to death, and an Antifa militant shot a Trump supporter to death in Portland.
While presiding over impeachment, Raskin expressed his own horror at having been in the Capitol Building during the Capital Hill riot. While five persons lost their lives, it appears in the aftermath that only one of those people lost their lives as a result of violence. Ashli Babbit was shot and killed by a Capitol Hill Police Officer. Four others died from medical emergencies, one of those was a Capitol Hill Police Officer, Brian Sicknick.
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