‘I hurt for our country’: Michelle Obama addresses U.S. Capitol riots

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Like many others, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama addressed the violent riots at the U.S Capitol on Wednesday.

A mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building while lawmakers were inside to hold a session certifying Biden’s election win.

The former first lady first talked about her overwhelming joy with the news of Raphael Warnock’s election victory in the Georgia Senate Runoffs.

But just a few hours after learning the news, some more unsettling information was brought to Obama’s attention.

“I watch as a gang — organized, violent, and mad they’s lost an election — laid siege to the United States Capitol. They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government. And once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days. The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures,” Obama wrote, in part in a statement posted to Twitter Thursday.

Obama proceeded to compare the law enforcement response to the riots at the Capitol versus the Black Lives Matter protests held over the summer last year sparked by the police killings of Black men and women — a familiar comparison.

“Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful. It hurts. And I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday. True progress will be possible only once we acknowledge that this disconnect exists and take steps to repair it. And that also means coming to grips with the reality that millions voted for a man so obviously willing to burn our democracy down for his own ego,” she continued.

Obama is now calling on Republican leaders to step up and take action.

Naming the Silicon Valley, she also encouraged big tech companies to permanently ban Trump from their platforms.

“And if we have any hope of improving this nation, now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame,” the former first lady wrote.

Four people died during the riot and were identified by the D.C. Police Department on Thursday.

Ashli Babbitt, 35, was the woman who was shot and killed by police as she attempted to climb through a broken window of a door while already inside the U.S. Capitol, according to footage reviewed by KRON4.

Police said the other three people died of “medical emergencies.” None were local to Washington, D.C. They were identified as:

  • Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, GA
  • Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, AL
  • Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Ringtown, PA

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