Social media users point out contrasting responses to storming of the U.S. Capitol in comparison to Black Lives Matter protests

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, smoke fills the walkway outside the Senate Chamber as supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol in Washington. Far-right social media users for weeks openly hinted in widely shared posts that chaos would erupt at the U.S. Capitol while Congress convened to certify the election results. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, smoke fills the walkway outside the Senate Chamber as supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol in Washington. Far-right social media users for weeks openly hinted in widely shared posts that chaos would erupt at the U.S. Capitol while Congress convened to certify the election results. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As the world watched the storming of the U.S. Capitol amid the attempt to certify election results on Wednesday, Jan. 6, in Washington D.C., many said they noticed an apparent difference in treatment of the pro-Trump mob and those who protested against racial injustice over the summer following the death of George Floyd.

The Black Lives Matter movement made a statement on Wednesday calling out the hypocrisy of the nation’s law enforcement in response to protests writing, “when Black people protest for our lives, we are met by National Guard troops or police equipped with assault rifles, tear gas and battle helmets. When white people attempt a coup, they are met by an underwhelming number of law enforcement personnel who act powerless to intervene,” on its Twitter.

Others contended that during protests against racial injustice, people were not stopped and damage was done.

During a march for George Floyd in downtown Houston on Sunday, June 2, the police department said more than 200 individuals were arrested for their involvement in criminal activity such as throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

According to figures compiled by AJ+, an Al Jazeera digital news project that tracks human rights and equality, the difference in arrests made stand at 52 Trump supporters arrested in the Capitol attack compared to more than 400 individuals arrested during Black Lives Matter protests in D.C. and more than 10,000 nationwide.

Many on social media have expressed that Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol and were able to sit at the desk of U.S. leaders and posing for pictures with officers inside is the epitome of white privilege, arguing that law enforcement would have intervened with a person of color’s attempt to trespass the government building.

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Furthermore, many pointed out the different tone of the president’s message to Black Lives Matter protesters saying, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in comparison to his less threatening response to those who stormed the Capitol, in which he said “We don’t want anybody hurt... We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”

In addition to the different responses in each protest, many online are accusing the respective agency of systemic racism, comparing pictures of the National Guard present at the Capitol ahead of Black Lives Matter protests in preparation for civil unrest while seemingly absent as Trump supporters were scaling walls to get inside the building.

FILE - In this June 6, 2020, file photo, a demonstrator hugs a National Guard soldier during a protest in Washington, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. The National Guard has designated military police units in two states to serve as rapid reaction forces in order to be better prepared to respond quickly to civil unrest around the country, in the wake of the violent protests that rocked the nations capitol and several states this summer. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

However, well aware of events to take place on Jan. 6 as President Trump shared multiple tweets promoting “March for Trump” organized by Women for America First, on Monday the D.C. mayor called in the National Guard ahead of the protest, bracing for possible violence, AP reports.

The Guard was mobilized Wednesday afternoon to support local police following the storming of the Capitol.

Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police keep a small group of demonstrators away from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. (Getty Images)

The Defense Department has activated approximately 6,200 members of the National Guard to support the Capitol Police through the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Here’s a further look at the differences being discussed following the Capitol insurrection. In this combination of photos from the Associated Press, demonstrators, left, protest June 4, 2020, in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, over the death of George Floyd and on Jan. 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump rally at same location.

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In this combination of photos, demonstrators, left, protest June 4, 2020, in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, over the death of George Floyd and on Jan. 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump rally at same location. (AP Photos)


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