Pro-Trump Rioters Storm U.S. Capitol, Forcing Evacuation of Lawmakers
Rioters could be seen breaking windows and storming the Senate chamber
Longtime D.C. resident Tim Hall was stunned when he walked out of the Capitol South Metro station shortly before 4 p.m. on Wednesday and witnessed the chaos at the home of the U.S. Congress.
He saw nooses hanging in front of the Capitol building, confederate flags and Nazi flags – along with rioters dressed in red, white and blue. “I saw hordes of people just breaking in the Capitol building and vandalizing it,” Hall tells PEOPLE. “They treated it like it was an amusement park and it was really infuriating.”
Hall, 29, works as a front desk administrator at a mental health facility in Anacostia. After guns were drawn at the Capitol, his office closed early at 3:30 p.m EST. He got on the metro and headed straight to the Capitol where he heard that protestors were vandalizing the Black Lives Matter murals. He wanted to take pictures in front of them before they disappeared.
Hall is a member of the D.C. Black Lives Matter movement and also an activist with Occupy D.C. What he saw on Wednesday was more violent than what happened in D.C. this summer, he says, yet the police response was very different.
“The police wasn't fighting them all,” Hall says. “They were trying to stand their ground, but the amount of effort and pushback that they gave us for protesting for the Black Lives Matter cause, that was not there. They were just treating them like they were kids throwing a tantrum.”
Samuel Corum/Getty Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6
At BLM protests this summer, he watched police use mace spray, rubber bullets and water hoses. “I didn’t see none of that stuff taking place yesterday at all – and they were a lot rowdier than our crowd,” Hall says. “We didn't try to stop the whole country from functioning.”
Hall watched as the National Guard removed rioters from the building.
“They basically escorted them out like they were friends,” he says. “They basically held them by the hand and escorted them out.”
Win McNamee/Getty Rioters breach Capitol
Hall remained downtown talking to protestors and wanted to know what they were thinking.
“They were saying that it’s a revolution and that we need to get with the cause. This is imminent. It’s going to happen,” Hall recalls. “They were basically just saying it was a revolution and Trump won, and Biden is a cheater, and that we're living in an alternate reality.”
Then, Hall went to a friend’s house nearby and sat on his balcony watching the crowd shouting Trump chants below.
“We need to keep our eyes wide open to everybody that was acting out yesterday or in support of the supposed revolution -- because these people aren't going to go away,” he says. “This was day one of 14 days left of Trump's presidency. It's just going to keep escalating.
Hall adds, “I don’t think it’s going to stop. Trump has to go out with a bang.”