William J. Walker, the House sergeant at arms who was the head of the D.C. National Guard during the attack on the Capitol, believes law enforcement response on January 6 would have been “vastly different” if the rioters were Black, per NBC News.
“I’m African American. Child of the sixties. I think it would have been a vastly different response if those were African Americans trying to breach the Capitol,” Walker told the Jan. 6 committee, according to an interview transcript released Tuesday (December 27). “As a career law enforcement officer, part-time soldier, last five years full but, but a law enforcement officer my entire career, the law enforcement response would have been different.”
His testimony to congressional investigators aligned with the sentiments of President Joe Biden, who previously noted the difference in police response to protests that erupted in Washington following George Floyd’s murder in 2020 and the comparatively lax security during the Capitol riots.
Walker also suggested that more people would’ve died if the mob was a majority Black crowd instead of largely white.
“You know, as a law enforcement officer, there were — I saw enough to where I would have probably been using deadly force,” Walker said. “I think it would have been more bloodshed if the composition would have been different.”
On January 6, the D.C. National Guard was authorized to respond to the Capitol riots after a 3-hour and 19-minute delay, which the House Committee’s report cites was due to a “likely miscommunication between members of the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense.”
Walker said that it was clear that January 6 was going to be a “big deal” months before the insurrection, citing civil unrest in November and December when Trump supporters came to Washington.
“You don’t need intelligence. I mean, everybody knew that people were directed to come there by the president. November was a run-up, December was practice, and January 6th was executed,” Walker said.
“I personally, William Joseph Walker, not General Walker, thought that it was just vastly different,” he continued, comparing the 2020 police brutality protests to the unrest after the election. “National Guard is not called in December. National Guard is not called in November. And I watched on television the difference between people coming to the Capitol in November. And if you watch the film, and if these same groups came back in December, better prepare. Better prepare.”
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