Former Head Of D.C. National Guard Says If Black People Led Capitol Riot, More People Would’ve Died

Former Head Of D.C. National Guard Says If Black People Led Capitol Riot, More People Would’ve Died

William J. Walker, the former head of the D.C National Guard during the Capitol Riot, told the January 6 Committee the law enforcement response would’ve been much different if the rioters were Black people.

“You know, as a law enforcement officer, there were—I saw enough to where I would have probably been using deadly force,” he said. “I think it would have been more bloodshed if the composition would have been different,” Walker told congressional investigators, in an interview transcript released Tuesday, according to NBC News.

Walker’s words echoed the thoughts of Black men and women who watched the events of January 6 unfold from their homes. The former Drug Enforcement Administration official also described his own experiences with discriminatory police stops, adding he’s had conversations with his five children and granddaughter concerning how to conduct themselves if they’re stopped by police.

“You’re looking at somebody who would get stopped by the police for driving a high-value government vehicle. No other reason,” Walker told the committee.

Five people died during the January 6 Capitol Riot; 725 people were arrested and charged for their actions on that day, many after returning home from Washington D.C. The January 6 Selection Committee released its final report on the incident last week, and has recommended Congress bar former President Donald Trump from running for office again.

Things could’ve been much worse if not for the actions of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who lured rioters away from the Senate chambers and Vice President Mike Pence who were in the act of certifying President Joe Biden’s presidential election win.

Part of the reason the Capitol Riot got out of hand was the fact that the D.C. National Guard was not called to assist Capitol police officers for more than three hours. According to the committee’s report, the delay was “likely miscommunication between members of the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense.”

Guy Reffitt, a Texas native who was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for his actions during the Capitol Riot, received the longest sentence of any rioter.