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WASHINGTON – Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns at Color Of Change, issued the following statement in response to Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s proposal to investigate ties between white supremacists and the Capitol Police.

“Last week’s riot on Capitol Hill was more than a deadly show of white supremacist violence; it was a coordinated attack on our nation by many members of the Capitol Police. In the days that followed, pictures and videos surfaced showing police officers smiling with armed white radicals, opening doors and gates for them, and escorting them down the steps of the Capitol Building. The irony of this kid-glove treatment — when racial justice advocates were beaten, tear-gassed, arrested en masse, and killed at protests last summer — is not lost on us. In fact, it confirms what we’ve known all along: the Capitol Police and white supremacists are working hand-in-hand.”

“We applaud Congressman Jamaal Bowman and his proposal to investigate ties between white supremacists and the Capitol Police Department. This bill is long overdue; racist police violence and complicity in white domestic terrorism costs us Black lives and liberty each year.

 And any investigation into Capitol Police  must also look beyond the roles of departmental leadership and individual officers to include the influence of the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP has its own history of racially divisive, dog-whistle rhetoric, undermining of orders from police leadership and obstructing discipline and dismissal of problem officers. They must also be held accountable for the failure to root out, if not promote, white supremacy within their ranks.