PORTLAND, Ore. — As pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by knocking down barriers, smashing windows and ransacking congressional offices, Black Lives Matter activists wondered why law enforcement showed so much restraint compared to the heavy-handed tactics that officers have used on them.
“There’s definitely a double standard and I don’t think had that been a mob of Black individuals that it would have played out the same way,” said Greg McKelvey.
Specifically, the Portland activist points to the dozens of people who were roughed up and tear gassed by federal officers as they demonstrated for racial justice outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland this summer.
“I was one of the individuals who was tear gassed for simply being in that park,” explained McKelvey.
This disparity between the police response to Black Lives Matter protests nationwide and the violence in Washington D.C. was not lost on President-elect Joe Biden.
"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,” said Biden.
Teressa Raiford, founder of "Don't Shoot Portland," said images of pro-Trump supporters walking brazenly through restricted areas of the Capitol help solidify a long-held suspicion that conservative, white protesters don’t have to play by the same rules.
“What kind of savagery would be said about people like myself if we even went in there and wrote on a wall?” asked Raiford.
Raiford said the lack of police response to this violent mob shows a racial double standard.
“You’ve seen here in Portland where we might have an event scheduled for 11 o’clock but there’s riot cops there at 10:30,” said Raiford.