It's been almost a week since the riot and attempted coup that took place at the Capitol on Wednesday, and it turns out that the day of terror was, unsurprisingly, very deadly. As more information has been released, so have the identities of violent insurrectionists, fascists, and Nazis. Some have been fired from their jobs, some are suffering from injuries, many will likely test positive for COVID-19, and several people died during the attack.
It’s now been confirmed that at least five people died this week during the riot, including Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was killed while on duty. Officer Sicknick’s death comes after D.C. officials announced that four others had died during the raiding of the Capitol, including a woman who was shot inside by a Capitol officer. In addition to Sicknick’s death, dozens of police officers were injured or maimed by fascists, Nazis, and pro-Trump extremists while working that day.
One of the people who was shot and killed was an Army Veteran from California, Ashli Babbitt. A day earlier, Babbitt had tweeted, “Nothing will stop us....they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours....dark to light!” In addition to Babbitt, two men in their 50s and one woman in her 30s died after various medical emergencies, according to D.C. Mayor Murel Bowser and D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee, who held a press conference following the attack. Kevin Greeson, a 55-year-old from Alabama who advocated for violence online, had a heart attack during the insurrection from “excitement,” his wife claims. Benjamin Philips and Roseanne Boyland are the other known deaths thus far. Details about their deaths are sparse as of publication time.
Injuries were also widespread and gruesome. Contee said that 56 officers were injured after being beaten or tazed repeatedly. However, it’s also important context that many officers simply stood by as rioters and insurrectionists took over the Capitol, and even tried to help them find their way. So far, city police officers have arrested 70 people on charges related to the unrest on Wednesday, but most of the arrests have been for people violating curfew — with some facing charges for unlawful entry. Not all people who entered into the Capitol building were taken into custody. In fact, most weren’t.
The incident has now become deadlier than Benghazi, which journalist Chris Hayes pointed out on Twitter. Republicans have frequently leaned into anger and righteousness over Benghazi throughout the years, even faulting Hillary Clinton and using her role in it as proof of why she shouldn't be president. The number of deaths and the horror caused this week only makes Trump’s case harder, as he tries to avoid being impeached a second time with only two weeks of his presidency left.
Now, Trump is ultimately being held responsible by many in Washington — even Republicans like Betsy DeVos — for stoking the violence and inciting people to “stop the steal” on his behalf. Whether he will actually be held accountable is an entirely different story, though. The Senate has now gone on break again until Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, and it remains to be seen if Trump or his fascist followers will see consequences. Additionally, there's no word on if it will even be deemed safe enough to hold an in-person inauguration at all after the events of this week, on top of pandemic safety concerns.