House Sergeant at Arms William Walker said if black people had rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a “vastly different response” from law enforcement would have taken place, The Hill reported.
Walker led the D.C. National Guard during the Jan. 6 rioting and gave his assessment to the House Jan. 6 panel in April, the outlet said, citing a transcript released this week.
“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 said, according to The Hill.
He added that “as a career law enforcement officer, part-time soldier, last five years full-time, but a law enforcement officer my entire career, the law enforcement response would have been different,” the outlet said.
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The House panel as part of its investigation examined why it took hours for the Pentagon to eventually send the National Guard to the Capitol as the calamity unfolded.
The committee concluded in its final report that no Pentagon officials deliberately held off on sending the Guard, but rather conflicting messages caused a delay, placing the blame on then-President Trump.
Walker indicated he did not receive a call from the Defense secretary or secretary of the army as rioters began breaching the Capitol, drawing a comparison to the summer of 2020, when Walker said Pentagon officials “constantly” called him to discuss the racial justice protests that unfolded following the killing of George Floyd.
“I think the response would have been different, a lot more heavy-handed response to, I think there would have been a lot more bloodshed,” Walker added, according to the outlet. “You know, as a law enforcement officer, there were — I saw enough to where I would have probably been using deadly force.”
He also said, “You’re looking at somebody who would get stopped by the police for driving a high-value government vehicle. No other reason,” The Hill reported, adding that Walker also noted, “I’ve had to talk with my five children, and getting ready to have it with my granddaughter, the talk. I don’t know if you know what I mean by the talk, of what to do to survive an encounter with the police.”
Former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving resigned the day after the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. The Hill said Walker replaced Irving in April.
A group of House Republicans released a damning report last week saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leaders played a critical role in creating the Capitol security plan that ultimately failed Jan. 6.
In fact, Irving at the time “succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership,” the report said, adding that he coordinated “closely with the Speaker and her staff and left Republicans out of important discussions related to security” that Pelosi “micromanaged.”
“Rather than coordinate in a meaningful way, Irving only provided information to Republicans after receiving instruction from the Speaker’s office. In one case, Irving even asked a senior Democratic staffer to ‘act surprised’ when he sent key information about plans for the Joint Session on January 6, 2021 to him and his Republican counterpart,” the report said.
While Pelosi has said she has no power over Capitol Police, the report contradicted that.
“This is false,” the report said, according to the New York Post. “Documents provided by [current] House Sergeant at Arms show how then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving carried out his duties in clear deference to the Speaker, her staff, and other Democratic staff … House Rules dictate … that the Sergeant at Arms is to report directly to the Speaker of the House.”