National Police Association: Congress Should Investigate 2020 Riots, Not Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
July 28, 2021 Updated: July 28, 2021

The National Police Association lobbying group has said that the House hearing into the Jan. 6 Capitol incident is politically motivated, urging Congress to instead investigate left-wing riots that left numerous officers injured last year.

Association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith said in an interview that Congress should hear testimonials from thousands of officers who were injured during demonstrations, riots, arson, and other violence last year following the death of George Floyd.

During the first hearing for the House select committee on the Jan. 6 breach, four police officers offered testimony saying that individuals who entered the Capitol made specific threats against them.

“People need to see that police officers go through horrible things, and Jan. 6 was a horrible thing for some of those officers,” Smith told Fox News. “But, quite frankly, I find this whole Jan. 6 Commission, frankly, a dog and pony show. It doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Later, Smith questioned why the federal government hasn’t provided more information about the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt, one of several Trump supporters who died during the incident, or raised questions about video footage of Capitol Police officers’ interactions with demonstrators on Jan. 6.

“Myself, like millions of Americans, sat there watching the testimony thinking, ‘Wait, where are the police officers who appeared—appeared—to let some of the protesters in?” she asked. “Where is the police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt? In fact, why aren’t we talking about Ashli Babbitt? I mean there’s so much more here.”

Epoch Times Photo
Portland police officers chase demonstrators after a riot was declared in Portland, Ore., on April 12, 2021. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

On July 27, one of the testifying officers, Daniel Hodges, who works for the Metropolitan Police Department, recounted being allegedly told, “You will die on your knees.”

Hodges said he was kicked in the chest and struck with something heavy in the head as other officers and he clashed with a crowd near the Capitol.

But Smith suggested that the injuries those officers suffered likely paled in comparison to the numerous officers who were injured during riots last year.

“We have a Las Vegas police officer who is still paralyzed from the Black Lives Matter riots,” she told Fox. “We have thousands of police officers around the country who are retiring because of post-traumatic stress because of the riots.

“The 2020 riots, we can’t just say the whole George Floyd thing was bad and that’s what cops have to deal with, and then watch these four weeping men talk about their experiences, ignoring thousands and thousands of police officers, ignoring their feelings and their experiences and their injuries.”

A recent analysis from The Epoch Times in late June showed that major metropolitan police departments are struggling with hiring new recruits and dealing with an increase in retirements or officers quitting amid anti-police rhetoric and activism. Violent crime such as murders, rapes, and robberies has also spiked in most major cities.

Last month, the Portland Police Bureau’s riot squad quit en masse after one of its officers was indicted on an assault charge. The arrest stemmed from violent demonstrations that roiled the Oregon city last year.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Smith said. “I have some cops who would rather go back to Iraq than continue to work on the street, just because of the massive amounts of blood and bodies and everything they deal with that people don’t see.”

The office of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), head of the select committee, didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.